Spike Sorting using the Neural Clustering Process

We present a novel approach to spike sorting for high-density multielectrode probes using the Neural Clustering Process (NCP), a recently introduced neural architecture that performs scalable amortized approximate Bayesian inference for efficient probabilistic clustering. To optimally encode spike waveforms for clustering, we extended NCP by adding a convolutional spike encoder, which is learned end-to-end with the NCP network. Trained purely on labeled synthetic spikes from a simple generative model, the NCP spike sorting model shows promising performance for clustering multi-channel spike waveforms. The model provides higher clustering quality than an alternative Bayesian algorithm, finds more spike templates with clear receptive fields on real data and recovers more ground truth neurons on hybrid test data compared to a recent spike sorting algorithm. Furthermore, NCP is able to handle the clustering uncertainty of ambiguous small spikes by GPU-parallelized posterior sampling. The source code is publicly available.

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