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To be a Grid Cell: Shuffling procedures for determining “Gridness”

Barry, C; Burgess, N; (2017) To be a Grid Cell: Shuffling procedures for determining “Gridness”. bioRxiv: Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA. Green open access

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Abstract

Grid cells in freely behaving mammals are defined by the strikingly regular periodic spatial distribution of their firing. The standard method of identification calculates the “Gridness” of the spatial firing pattern, with significance being defined relative to the 95 th percentile of a null distribution of the Gridness values found after randomly permuting spike times relative to behaviour. We determined the false-positive rate by applying the method to simulated firing with irregular spatially inhomogeneity (i.e. randomly distributed Gaussian patches). We found surprisingly high false positive rates (potentially approaching 20%), which were strongly dependent on the type of Gridness measure used and the number of spatial fields in the synthetic data. This likely reflects the spatial homogeneity of the distributions of spikes after shuffling compared to the inhomogeneous synthetic data. However, false positive rates were reduced (generally below 8%), and less dependent on other factors, when an alternative spatial field shuffling method was used to generate the null Gridness distribution. For comparison, we analysed single unit recordings made using tetrodes implanted into rat medial entorhinal cortex for the purpose of finding grid cells. We found 24% of active neurons were classified as grid cells via spike shuffling and 22% via field shuffling. These results, and the potentially high false-positive rate when classifying cells with patchy but irregular firing as grid cells, indicate that the proportion of cells with regular grid-like firing patterns can be over-estimated by standard methods.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: To be a Grid Cell: Shuffling procedures for determining “Gridness”
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1101/230250
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1101/230250
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the version of record. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10166673
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