Main Menu (Mobile)- Block

Main Menu - Block

janelia7_blocks-janelia7_secondary_menu | block
janelia7_blocks-janelia7_fake_breadcrumb | block
Stringer Lab / Publications
custom | custom

Filter

facetapi-Q2b17qCsTdECvJIqZJgYMaGsr8vANl1n | block
facetapi-W9JlIB1X0bjs93n1Alu3wHJQTTgDCBGe | block

Associated Project Team

facetapi-PV5lg7xuz68EAY8eakJzrcmwtdGEnxR0 | block
facetapi-021SKYQnqXW6ODq5W5dPAFEDBaEJubhN | block
general_search_page-panel_pane_1 | views_panes

9 Publications

Showing 1-9 of 9 results
10/06/20 | Simultaneous computation of dynamical and equilibrium information using a weighted ensemble of trajectories
Suarez E, Lettieri S, Stringer CA, Zwier MC, Subramanian SR, Chong LT, Zuckerman DM
Journal of chemical theory and computation;10:2658–2667
02/03/20 | Cellpose: a generalist algorithm for cellular segmentation
Stringer C, Michaelos M, Pachitariu M
bioRxiv. 2020 Feb 03:. doi: 10.1101/2020.02.02.931238

Many biological applications require the segmentation of cell bodies, membranes and nuclei from microscopy images. Deep learning has enabled great progress on this problem, but current methods are specialized for images that have large training datasets. Here we introduce a generalist, deep learning-based segmentation algorithm called Cellpose, which can very precisely segment a wide range of image types out-of-the-box and does not require model retraining or parameter adjustments. We trained Cellpose on a new dataset of highly-varied images of cells, containing over 70,000 segmented objects. To support community contributions to the training data, we developed software for manual labelling and for curation of the automated results, with optional direct upload to our data repository. Periodically retraining the model on the community-contributed data will ensure that Cellpose improves constantly.

View Publication Page
06/26/19 | High-dimensional geometry of population responses in visual cortex.
Stringer C, Pachitariu M, Steinmetz NA, Carandini M, Harris KD
Nature. 2019 Jun 26;571(7765):361-65. doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1346-5

A neuronal population encodes information most efficiently when its activity is uncorrelated and high-dimensional, and most robustly when its activity is correlated and lower-dimensional. Here, we analyzed the correlation structure of natural image coding, in large visual cortical populations recorded from awake mice. Evoked population activity was high dimensional, with correlations obeying an unexpected power-law: the n-th principal component variance scaled as 1/n. This was not inherited from the 1/f spectrum of natural images, because it persisted after stimulus whitening. We proved mathematically that the variance spectrum must decay at least this fast if a population code is smooth, i.e. if small changes in input cannot dominate population activity. The theory also predicts larger power-law exponents for lower-dimensional stimulus ensembles, which we validated experimentally. These results suggest that coding smoothness represents a fundamental constraint governing correlations in neural population codes.

View Publication Page
06/21/19 | High precision coding in visual cortex
Stringer C, Michaelos M, Pachitariu M
BioRxiv. 06/2019:679324. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/679324

Single neurons in visual cortex provide unreliable measurements of visual features due to their high trial-to-trial variability. It is not known if this “noise” extends its effects over large neural populations to impair the global encoding of sensory stimuli. We recorded simultaneously from ∼20,000 neurons in mouse visual cortex and found that the neural population had discrimination thresholds of 0.3° in an orientation decoding task. These thresholds are ∼100 times smaller than those reported behaviorally in mice. The discrepancy between neural and behavioral discrimination could not be explained by the types of stimuli we used, by behavioral states or by the sequential nature of trial-by-trial perceptual learning tasks. These results imply that the limits of sensory perception in mice are not set by neural noise in sensory cortex, but by the limitations of downstream decoders.

View Publication Page
04/19/19 | Spontaneous behaviors drive multidimensional, brain-wide population activity.
Stringer C, Pachitariu M, Steinmetz NA, Reddy CB, Carandini M, Harris KD
Science. 2019 Apr 18;364(6437):255. doi: 10.1101/306019

Sensory cortices are active in the absence of external sensory stimuli. To understand the nature of this ongoing activity, we used two-photon calcium imaging to record from over 10,000 neurons in the visual cortex of mice awake in darkness while monitoring their behavior videographically. Ongoing population activity was multidimensional, exhibiting at least 100 significant dimensions, some of which were related to the spontaneous behaviors of the mice. The largest single dimension was correlated with the running speed and pupil area, while a 16-dimensional summary of orofacial behaviors could predict ~45% of the explainable neural variance. Electrophysiological recordings with 8 simultaneous Neuropixels probes revealed a similar encoding of high-dimensional orofacial behaviors across multiple forebrain regions. Representation of motor variables continued uninterrupted during visual stimulus presentation, occupying dimensions nearly orthogonal to the stimulus responses. Our results show that a multidimensional representation of motor state is encoded across the forebrain, and is integrated with visual input by neuronal populations in primary visual cortex.

View Publication Page
04/01/19 | Computational processing of neural recordings from calcium imaging data.
Stringer C, Pachitariu M
Current Opinion in Neurobiology. 2019 Apr ;55:22-31. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.11.005

Electrophysiology has long been the workhorse of neuroscience, allowing scientists to record with millisecond precision the action potentials generated by neurons in vivo. Recently, calcium imaging of fluorescent indicators has emerged as a powerful alternative. This technique has its own strengths and weaknesses and unique data processing problems and interpretation confounds. Here we review the computational methods that convert raw calcium movies to estimates of single neuron spike times with minimal human supervision. By computationally addressing the weaknesses of calcium imaging, these methods hold the promise of significantly improving data quality. We also introduce a new metric to evaluate the output of these processing pipelines, which is based on the cluster isolation distance routinely used in electrophysiology.

View Publication Page
08/06/18 | Robustness of spike deconvolution for neuronal calcium imaging.
Pachitariu M, Stringer C, Harris KD
The Journal of Neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2018 Aug 06;38(37):7976-85. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3339-17.2018

Calcium imaging is a powerful method to record the activity of neural populations in many species, but inferring spike times from calcium signals is a challenging problem. We compared multiple approaches using multiple datasets with ground truth electrophysiology, and found that simple non-negative deconvolution (NND) outperformed all other algorithms on out-of-sample test data. We introduce a novel benchmark applicable to recordings without electrophysiological ground truth, based on the correlation of responses to two stimulus repeats, and used this to show that unconstrained NND also outperformed the other algorithms when run on "zoomed out" datasets of ∼10,000 cell recordings from the visual cortex of mice of either sex. Finally, we show that NND-based methods match the performance of a supervised method based on convolutional neural networks, while avoiding some of the biases of such methods, and at much faster running times. We therefore recommend that spikes be inferred from calcium traces using simple NND, due to its simplicity, efficiency and accuracy.The experimental method that currently allows for recordings of the largest numbers of cells simultaneously is two-photon calcium imaging. However, use of this powerful method requires that neuronal firing times be inferred correctly from the large resulting datasets. Previous studies have claimed that complex supervised learning algorithms outperform simple deconvolution methods at this task. Unfortunately, these studies suffered from several problems and biases. When we repeated the analysis, using the same data and correcting these problems, we found that simpler spike inference methods perform better. Even more importantly, we found that supervised learning methods can introduce artifactual structure into spike trains, that can in turn lead to erroneous scientific conclusions. Of the algorithms we evaluated, we found that an extremely simple method performed best in all circumstances tested, was much faster to run, and was insensitive to parameter choices, making incorrect scientific conclusions much less likely.

View Publication Page
12/02/16 | Inhibitory control of correlated intrinsic variability in cortical networks
Stringer C, Pachitariu M, Steinmetz NA, Okun M, Bartho P, Harris KD, Sahani M, Lesica NA
Elife. 12/2016;5:e19695. doi: https://doi.org/10.7554/eLife.19695

Cortical networks exhibit intrinsic dynamics that drive coordinated, large-scale fluctuations across neuronal populations and create noise correlations that impact sensory coding. To investigate the network-level mechanisms that underlie these dynamics, we developed novel computational techniques to fit a deterministic spiking network model directly to multi-neuron recordings from different rodent species, sensory modalities, and behavioral states. The model generated correlated variability without external noise and accurately reproduced the diverse activity patterns in our recordings. Analysis of the model parameters suggested that differences in noise correlations across recordings were due primarily to differences in the strength of feedback inhibition. Further analysis of our recordings confirmed that putative inhibitory neurons were indeed more active during desynchronized cortical states with weak noise correlations. Our results demonstrate that network models with intrinsically-generated variability can accurately reproduce the activity patterns observed in multi-neuron recordings and suggest that inhibition modulates the interactions between intrinsic dynamics and sensory inputs to control the strength of noise correlations.

View Publication Page
03/03/14 | Simultaneous computation of dynamical and equilibrium information using a weighted ensemble of trajectories
Suarez E, Lettieri S, Stringer CA, Zwier MC, Subramanian SR, Chong LT, Zuckerman DM
Journal of Chemical Theory and Computation. 03/2014;10:2658–2667. doi: https://doi.org/10.1021/ct401065r

Equilibrium formally can be represented as an ensemble of uncoupled systems undergoing unbiased dynamics in which detailed balance is maintained. Many nonequilibrium processes can be described by suitable subsets of the equilibrium ensemble. Here, we employ the “weighted ensemble” (WE) simulation protocol [Huber and Kim, Biophys. J.1996, 70, 97–110] to generate equilibrium trajectory ensembles and extract nonequilibrium subsets for computing kinetic quantities. States do not need to be chosen in advance. The procedure formally allows estimation of kinetic rates between arbitrary states chosen after the simulation, along with their equilibrium populations. We also describe a related history-dependent matrix procedure for estimating equilibrium and nonequilibrium observables when phase space has been divided into arbitrary non-Markovian regions, whether in WE or ordinary simulation. In this proof-of-principle study, these methods are successfully applied and validated on two molecular systems: explicitly solvated methane association and the implicitly solvated Ala4 peptide. We comment on challenges remaining in WE calculations.

 

View Publication Page