BMC Neuroscience

, 8:P79 | Cite as

Measuring spike train synchrony and reliability

  • Thomas Kreuz
  • Julie S Haas
  • Alice Morelli
  • Henry DI Abarbanel
  • Antonio Politi
Open Access
Poster presentation


Animal Model Similarity Measure Spike Train Instantaneous Frequency Complementary Approach 
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Estimating the degree of synchrony or reliability between two or more spike trains is a frequent task in both experimental and computational neuroscience. In recent years, many different methods have been proposed that typically compare the timing of spikes on a certain time scale to be fixed beforehand. In this study [1], we propose the ISI-distance, a simple complementary approach that extracts information from the interspike intervals by evaluating the ratio of the instantaneous frequencies. The method is parameter free, time scale independent and easy to visualize as illustrated by an application to real neuronal spike trains obtained in vitro from rat slices (cf. [2]). We compare the method with six existing approaches (two spike train metrics [3, 4], a correlation measure [2, 5], a similarity measure [6], and event synchronization [7]) using spike trains extracted from a simulated Hindemarsh-Rose network [8]. In this comparison the ISI-distance performs as well as the best time-scale-optimized measure based on spike timing, without requiring an externally determined time scale for interaction or comparison.



TK has been supported by the Marie Curie Individual Intra-European Fellowship "DEAN", project No 011434. JSH acknowledges financial support by the San Diego Foundation.


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Copyright information

© Kreuz et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2007

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd.

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Kreuz
    • 1
  • Julie S Haas
    • 2
  • Alice Morelli
    • 3
  • Henry DI Abarbanel
    • 2
    • 4
  • Antonio Politi
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto dei Sistemi Complessi – CNRSesto FiorentinoItaly
  2. 2.Institute for Nonlinear SciencesUniversity of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Istituto Nazionale di Ottica ApplicataFirenzeItaly
  4. 4.Department of Physics and Marine Physical Laboratory (Scripps Institution of Oceanography)University of CaliforniaSan DiegoUSA

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