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|Paper IPM / Cognitive / 16367||
Peri-event time histograms (PETH) are widely used to study correlations between experimental events and neuronal firing. The accuracy of firing rate estimate using a PETH depends on the choice of binsize. We show that the optimal binsize for a PETH depends on factors such as the number of trials and the temporal dynamics of the firing rate. These factors argue against the use of a one-size-fits-all binsize when making PETHs for an inhomogeneous population of neurons. Here we propose a binsize selection method by adapting the Akaike Information Criterion (AIC). Simulations show that optimal binsizes estimated by AIC closely match the optimal binsizes using mean squared error (MSE). Furthermore, using real data, we find that optimal binning improves detection of responses and their dynamics. Together our analysis strongly supports optimal binning of PETHs and proposes a computationally efficient method for this optimization based on AIC approach to model selection.
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