Action Editor: Byron Yu
A critical component of any statistical modeling procedure is the ability to assess the goodness-of-fit between a model and observed data. For spike train models of individual neurons, many goodness-of-fit measures rely on the time-rescaling theorem and assess model quality using rescaled spike times. Recently, there has been increasing interest in statistical models that describe the simultaneous spiking activity of neuron populations, either in a single brain region or across brain regions. Classically, such models have used spike sorted data to describe relationships between the identified neurons, but more recently clusterless modeling methods have been used to describe population activity using a single model. Here we develop a generalization of the time-rescaling theorem that enables comprehensive goodness-of-fit analysis for either of these classes of population models. We use the theory of marked point processes to model population spiking activity, and show that under the correct model, each spike can be rescaled individually to generate a uniformly distributed set of events in time and the space of spike marks. After rescaling, multiple well-established goodness-of-fit procedures and statistical tests are available. We demonstrate the application of these methods both to simulated data and real population spiking in rat hippocampus. We have made the MATLAB and Python code used for the analyses in this paper publicly available through our Github repository at https://github.com/Eden-Kramer-Lab/popTRT.