A recipe for optimizing a time-histogram

Sign In

Full text access may be available.

To access full text, please use your member or institutional sign in.

Formats Non-Member Member
$15 $15
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, books, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

3 Author(s)

The time-histogram method is a handy tool for capturing the instantaneous rate of spike occurrence. In most of the neurophysiological literature, the bin size that critically determines the goodness of the fit of the time-histogram to the underlying rate has been selected by individual researchers in an unsystematic manner. We propose an objective method for selecting the bin size of a time-histogram from the spike data, so that the time-histogram best approximates the unknown underlying rate. The resolution of the histogram increases, or the optimal bin size decreases, with the number of spike sequences sampled. It is notable that the optimal bin size diverges if only a small number of experimental trials are available from a moderately fluctuating rate process. In this case, any attempt to characterize the underlying spike rate will lead to spurious results. Given a paucity of data, our method can also suggest how many more trials are needed until the set of data can be analyzed with the required resolution.