Taller Peaks: an improved spike detection algorithm that simultaneously reduces type I and type II errors for Wave_clus

Okatan M.

TURKISH JOURNAL OF ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING AND COMPUTER SCIENCES, vol.25, no.4, pp.2583-2594, 2017 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 25 Issue: 4
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.3906/elk-1606-400
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded, Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.2583-2594


Wave_clus is an unsupervised spike detection and sorting algorithm that has been used in dozens of experimental studies as a spike sorting tool. It is often used as a benchmark for comparing the performance of new spike sorting algorithms. For these reasons, the spike detection performance of Wave_clus is important for both experimental and computational studies that involve spike sorting. Two measures of spike detection performance are the number of false positive detections (type I error) and the number of missed spikes (type II error). Here, a new spike detection algorithm is proposed that reduces the number of misses and false positives of Wave_clus in a widely used simulated data set across the entire range of commonly used detection thresholds. The algorithm accepts a spike if its amplitude is larger than the amplitude of its two immediate neighbors, where an immediate neighbor is the nearest peak of the same polarity within 1 refractory period. The simultaneous reduction that is achieved in the number of false positives and misses is important for experimental and computational studies that use Wave_clus as a spike sorting tool or as a benchmark. A software patch that incorporates the algorithm into Wave_clus as an optional spike detection algorithm is provided.