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P-sort: an open-source software for cerebellar neurophysiology

By Ehsan Sedaghat-Nejad, Mohammad Amin Fakharian, Jay Pi, Paul Hage, Yoshiko Kojima, Robi Soetedjo, Shogo Ohmae, Javier F Medina, Reza Shadmehr

Posted 17 Mar 2021
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/2021.03.16.435644

Analysis of electrophysiological data from Purkinje cells (P-cells) of the cerebellum presents challenges for spike detection. Complex spikes have waveforms that vary significantly from one event to the next, raising the problem of misidentification. Even when complex spikes are detected correctly, the simple spikes may belong to a different P-cell, raising the danger of misattribution. Here, we analyzed data from over 300 P-cells in marmosets, macaques, and mice, using an open-source, semi-automated software called P-sort that addresses the spike identification and attribution problems. Like other sorting software, P-sort relies on nonlinear dimensionality reduction to cluster spikes. However, it also uses the statistical relationship between simple and complex spikes to merge seemingly disparate clusters, or split a single cluster. In comparison with expert manual curation, occasionally P-sort identified significantly more complex spikes, as well as prevented misattribution of clusters. Three existing automatic sorters performed less well, particularly for identification of complex spikes. To improve development of analysis tools for the cerebellum, we provide labeled data for 313 recording sessions, as well as statistical characteristics of waveforms and firing patterns.

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