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Spike Train Characterization and Decoding for Neural Prosthetic Devices


Cao, Shiyan (2004) Spike Train Characterization and Decoding for Neural Prosthetic Devices. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/GK20-5W75.


Neural prosthetic device has the potential of benefiting millions of lock-in and spinal cord injury survivors. One branch of the ongoing research is to construct reach movement based prosthetic devices. This thesis proposes statistical methods based on applying the Haar wavelet packets to spike trains in order to answer some of the questions in this field.

Although spike train is the most frequently used data in the neural science community, its stochastic properties are not fully understood or characterized. This thesis suggests a formal spike train characterization method using the Haar wavelet packet. Because of the multi-scale property of the wavelet packet, Poisson characteristics at different scales can be assessed. Moreover, Poisson Scale-gram is proposed to help visualize the characteristics of the spike train at different scales.

Because some neurons display non-Poisson characteristics, it is necessary to extract the relevant features from spike trains in the context of decoding. The thesis suggests a feature extraction method that searches all the wavelet packet coefficients for the ones with the largest discriminability, quantified by mutual information. This technique returns the most informative feature(s) in the context of the Bayesian classifier. Decoding performance of this proposed method is compared against the one using mean firing rate only on both surrogate data and the actual data from PRR.

It is also crucial to decode cognitive states because they provide the extra control signals necessary for practical implementation of the prosthetic devices. This thesis proposes a simple finite state machine approach along with an interpreter that interprets the decoding results and to regulate when the transition should occur. It demonstrates that the finite state machine framework, when coupled with the interpreter, offers a simple autonomous control scheme for the neuron prosthetic system envisioned.

While the neural prosthetic system is in its infancy, many theoretical and experimental works lay the foundation for a bright future in this field. This thesis answers the spike train characterization and decoding questions in a theoretical manner while offering several novel techniques that bring new ideas and insights into the research field.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:decode; neuroscience; prosthetic; Spike; wavelet
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Mechanical Engineering
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Burdick, Joel Wakeman (advisor)
  • Andersen, Richard A. (co-advisor)
Thesis Committee:
  • Burdick, Joel Wakeman (chair)
  • Pickar, Kenneth A.
  • Hunt, Melany L.
  • Andersen, Richard A.
Defense Date:1 July 2003
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-07232003-012018
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2967
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:24 Jul 2003
Last Modified:08 Nov 2023 00:08

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