Commenced in January 2007
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Detection of Action Potentials in the Presence of Noise Using Phase-Space Techniques

Authors: Christopher Paterson, Richard Curry, Alan Purvis, Simon Johnson


Emerging Bio-engineering fields such as Brain Computer Interfaces, neuroprothesis devices and modeling and simulation of neural networks have led to increased research activity in algorithms for the detection, isolation and classification of Action Potentials (AP) from noisy data trains. Current techniques in the field of 'unsupervised no-prior knowledge' biosignal processing include energy operators, wavelet detection and adaptive thresholding. These tend to bias towards larger AP waveforms, AP may be missed due to deviations in spike shape and frequency and correlated noise spectrums can cause false detection. Also, such algorithms tend to suffer from large computational expense. A new signal detection technique based upon the ideas of phasespace diagrams and trajectories is proposed based upon the use of a delayed copy of the AP to highlight discontinuities relative to background noise. This idea has been used to create algorithms that are computationally inexpensive and address the above problems. Distinct AP have been picked out and manually classified from real physiological data recorded from a cockroach. To facilitate testing of the new technique, an Auto Regressive Moving Average (ARMA) noise model has been constructed bases upon background noise of the recordings. Along with the AP classification means this model enables generation of realistic neuronal data sets at arbitrary signal to noise ratio (SNR).

Keywords: Action potential detection, Low SNR, Phase spacediagrams/trajectories, Unsupervised/no-prior knowledge.

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