- Abstract: Activity of populations of sensory neurons carries stimulus information in both the temporal and the spatial dimensions. This poses the question of how to compactly represent all the information that the population codes carry across all these dimensions. Here, we developed an analytical method to factorize a large number of retinal ganglion cells' spike trains into a robust low-dimensional representation that captures efficiently both their spatial and temporal information. In particular, we extended previously used single-trial space-by-time tensor decomposition based on non-negative matrix factorization to efficiently discount pre-stimulus baseline activity. On data recorded from retinal ganglion cells with strong pre-stimulus baseline, we showed that in situations were the stimulus elicits a strong change in firing rate, our extensions yield a boost in stimulus decoding performance. Our results thus suggest that taking into account the baseline can be important for finding a compact information-rich representation of neural activity.
- TL;DR: We extended single-trial space-by-time tensor decomposition based on non-negative matrix factorization to efficiently discount pre-stimulus baseline activity that improves decoding performance on data with non-negligible baselines.
- Keywords: Space-by-time non-negative matrix factorization, dimensionality reduction, baseline correction, neuronal decoding, mutual information