Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Simple and complex spikes

During my visit to Germany, I wake up early most mornings to walk to the lab.  I share a small office with some of the graduate students.  In one of those early morning, I walked in and surprised a graduate student from a neighboring office who was on the phone.  I think she felt a little embarrassed, and so afterwards she sat down to tell me that she comes in early to call her dad.  

She is from Poland, finished medical school 3 years ago, and decided to go into neuroscience and is now recording from the cerebellum.  She mentioned how important it was for her to talk to her dad each day, as the science was going slowly and things were not always so great. 

Over on her desk she has a piece of paper taped to her computer.  It's something that an earlier student made for her.  It shows a recording from a Purkinje cell.  The top part of the paper shows the raw voltage trace, where you can clearly see the simple and complex spikes in fantastic isolation.  On the bottom of the paper is the spike-sorting waveform that is used for online sorting of the simple and complex spikes.

The note on the paper says: "Motivation screen shot.  These cells exist and you can find them!"

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