Detecting change points in neural population activity with contrastive metric learning
Carolina Urzay, Nauman Ahad, Mehdi Azabou, Geethika Atmakuri, Eva L. Dyer, Georgia Institute of Technology, United States; Aidan Schneider, Keith B. Hengen, Washington University in St. Louis, United States
Posters 1 Poster
Pacific Ballroom H-O
Thu, 25 Aug, 19:30 - 21:30 Pacific Time (UTC -7)
Finding points in time where the distribution of neural responses changes (change points) is an important step in many neural data analysis pipelines. However, in complex and free behaviors, where we see different types of shifts occurring at different rates, it can be difficult to use existing methods for change point (CP) detection because they can't necessarily handle different types of changes that may occur in the underlying neural distribution. In this work, we introduce a new approach for finding changes in neural population states across diverse activities and arousal states occurring in free behavior. Our model follows a contrastive learning approach: we learn a metric for CP detection based on maximizing the Sinkhorn divergences of neuron firing rates across two sides of a labeled CP. We apply this method to a 12-hour neural recording of a freely behaving mouse to detect changes in sleep stages and behavior. We show that when we learn a metric, we can better detect change points and also yield insights into which neurons and sub-groups are important for detecting certain types of switches that occur in the brain.