Measuring spike train synchrony

Thomas Kreuz, Julie S. Haas, Alice Morelli, Henry D. I. Abarbanel, Antonio Politi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


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 optimized by the analyst. Here, we propose the ISI-distance, a simple complementary approach that extracts information from the interspike intervals by evaluating the ratio of the instantaneous firing rates. 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. In a comparison with existing approaches on spike trains extracted from a simulated Hindemarsh-Rose network, the ISI-distance performs as well as the best time-scale-optimized measure based on spike timing. (c) 2007 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-161
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 15 Sep 2007


  • time series analysis
  • spike trains
  • event synchronization
  • reliability clustering
  • neuronal coding
  • reliability
  • frequency
  • precision
  • networks
  • patterns
  • distance
  • systems
  • cortex
  • phase
  • cells


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