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Reports a result on neural spike sorting under conditions where the signal-to-noise ratio is very low. The use of nonlinear energy operator enables the detection of an action potential, even when the SNR is so poor that a typical amplitude thresholding method cannot be applied. The superior detection ability facilitates the collection of a training set under lower SNR than that of the methods which employ simple amplitude thresholding. Thus, the statistical characteristics of the input vectors can be better represented in the neural-network classifier The trained neural-network classifiers yield the correct classification ratio higher than 90% when the SNR is as low as 1.2 (0.8 dB) when applied to data obtained from extracellular recording from Aplysia abdominal ganglia using a semiconductor microelectrode array.