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Analysis of Learning Retention throughout Aging

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In this paper, it is determined that learning retention decreases with age and there is a linear rate of decrease. In this study, four male Long-Evans Rats were used. The

In this paper, it is determined that learning retention decreases with age and there is a linear rate of decrease. In this study, four male Long-Evans Rats were used. The rats were each trained in 4 different tasks throughout their lifetime, using a food reward as motivation to work. Rats were said to have learned a task at the age when they received the highest accuracy during a task. A regression of learning retention was created for the set of studied rats: Learning Retention = 112.9 \u2014 0.085919 x (Age at End of Task), indicating that learning retention decreases at a linear rate, although rats have different rates of decrease of learning retention. The presence of behavioral training was determined not to have a positive impact on this rate. In behavioral studies, there were statistically significant differences between timid/outgoing and large ball ability between W12 and Z12. Rat W12 had overall better learning retention and also was more compliant, did not resist being picked up and traveled more frequently at high speeds (in the large ball) than Z12. Further potential studies include implanting an electrode into the frontal cortex in order to compare neuro feedback with learning retention, and using human subjects to find the rate of decrease in learning retention. The implication of this study, if also true for human subjects, is that older persons may need enhanced training or additional refresher training in order to retain information that is learned at a later age.

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  • 2014-05

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Model Based Automatic and Robust Spike Sorting for Large Volumes of Multi-channel Extracellular Data

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Spike sorting is a critical step for single-unit-based analysis of neural activities extracellularly and simultaneously recorded using multi-channel electrodes. When dealing with recordings from very large numbers of neurons, existing

Spike sorting is a critical step for single-unit-based analysis of neural activities extracellularly and simultaneously recorded using multi-channel electrodes. When dealing with recordings from very large numbers of neurons, existing methods, which are mostly semiautomatic in nature, become inadequate.

This dissertation aims at automating the spike sorting process. A high performance, automatic and computationally efficient spike detection and clustering system, namely, the M-Sorter2 is presented. The M-Sorter2 employs the modified multiscale correlation of wavelet coefficients (MCWC) for neural spike detection. At the center of the proposed M-Sorter2 are two automatic spike clustering methods. They share a common hierarchical agglomerative modeling (HAM) model search procedure to strategically form a sequence of mixture models, and a new model selection criterion called difference of model evidence (DoME) to automatically determine the number of clusters. The M-Sorter2 employs two methods differing by how they perform clustering to infer model parameters: one uses robust variational Bayes (RVB) and the other uses robust Expectation-Maximization (REM) for Student’s 𝑡-mixture modeling. The M-Sorter2 is thus a significantly improved approach to sorting as an automatic procedure.

M-Sorter2 was evaluated and benchmarked with popular algorithms using simulated, artificial and real data with truth that are openly available to researchers. Simulated datasets with known statistical distributions were first used to illustrate how the clustering algorithms, namely REMHAM and RVBHAM, provide robust clustering results under commonly experienced performance degrading conditions, such as random initialization of parameters, high dimensionality of data, low signal-to-noise ratio (SNR), ambiguous clusters, and asymmetry in cluster sizes. For the artificial dataset from single-channel recordings, the proposed sorter outperformed Wave_Clus, Plexon’s Offline Sorter and Klusta in most of the comparison cases. For the real dataset from multi-channel electrodes, tetrodes and polytrodes, the proposed sorter outperformed all comparison algorithms in terms of false positive and false negative rates. The software package presented in this dissertation is available for open access.

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  • 2019