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Recording from the peripheral nervous system is key in the development of implantable neural interfaces. Despite a long history of using implantable electrodes for neuro-stimulation, it is difficult to make recordings from the nerves as signal amplitudes are often too small to be detected. Methods exist that are suitable for recording evoked potentials, but these require artificial stimulation of the nerve and thus have limited use in implanted neural interfaces.

New method
In order to address these issues new methods are developed to analyse spontaneously occurring action potentials by extending an approach called velocity selective recording, which uses longitudinally spaced electrodes to record action potentials as they propagate. The new methods using image processing techniques to automatically identify and classify action potentials without any prior knowledge of their morphology.

Simulations are developed to test the methods, and a detailed experimental validation is performed using in-vivo recordings from the L5 dorsal rootlet of rat. Results show that this new approach can discriminate action potentials from both simulated and real recordings and the experimental validation demonstrates an ability to detect dermal stimulation by changes in the firing patterns of different axons.

Comparison to existing methods
This framework, unlike existing methods, is intrinsically suitable for recordings of spontaneous neural activity. Further it improves upon both the computational complexity and the overall performance of existing methods.

It is possible to perform on-line discrimination and identification of action potentials without any prior knowledge of their morphology using new image processing inspired methods.
Original languageEnglish
Article number108967
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Early online date7 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Neural interfaces
  • Neural recording
  • Spike sorting
  • Velocity selective recording

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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