Identification of noisy response latency

Massimiliano Tamborrino, Susanne Ditlevsen, and Petr Lansky
Phys. Rev. E 86, 021128 – Published 23 August 2012


In many physical systems there is a time delay before an applied input (stimulation) has an impact on the output (response), and the quantification of this delay is of paramount interest. If the response can only be observed on top of an indistinguishable background signal, the estimation can be highly unreliable, unless the background signal is accounted for in the analysis. In fact, if the background signal is ignored, however small it is compared to the response and however large the delay is, the estimate of the time delay will go to zero for any reasonable estimator when increasing the number of observations. Here we propose a unified concept of response latency identification in event data corrupted by a background signal. It is done in the context of information transfer within a neural system, more specifically on spike trains from single neurons. The estimators are compared on simulated data and the most suitable for specific situations are recommended.

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  • Received 22 March 2012


©2012 American Physical Society

Authors & Affiliations

Massimiliano Tamborrino* and Susanne Ditlevsen

  • Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Universitetsparken 5, DK 2100 Copenhagen, Denmark

Petr Lansky

  • Institute of Physiology, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic Videnska 1083, 142 20 Prague 4, Czech Republic

  • *

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Vol. 86, Iss. 2 — August 2012

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