Current source density analysis

“Current Source Density analysis (CSD) is a class of methods of analysis of extracellular electric potentials recorded at multiple sites leading to estimates of current sources generating the measured potentials. It is usually applied to low-frequency part of the potential (called the Local Field Potential, LFP) and to simultaneous recordings or to recordings taken with fixed time reference to the onset of specific stimulus (Evoked Potentials).” (Definition by Prof.Daniel K. Wójcik for Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience.)

CSD is also called as Source Localization or Source Imaging in the EEG circles. Here are CSD methods for different types of electrode configurations.

  • 1D - laminar probe like electrodes.
  • 2D - Microelectrode Array like
  • 3D - UtahArray or multiple laminar probes.

The following methods have been implemented so far

  • 1D: StandardCSD, DeltaiCSD, SplineiCSD, StepiCSD, KCSD1D
  • 2D: KCSD2D, MoIKCSD (Saline layer on top of slice)
  • 3D: KCSD3D

Each listed method has certain advantages. The KCSD methods, for instance, can handle broken or irregular electrode configurations electrode.

estimate_csd(lfp[, coordinates, method, ...]) Function call to compute the current source density (CSD) from extracellular potential recordings (local field potentials - LFP) using laminar electrodes or multi-contact electrodes with 2D or 3D geometries.
generate_lfp(csd_profile, x_positions[, ...]) Forward modelling for getting the potentials for testing Current Source Density (CSD).


LFP, CSD, multielectrode, Laminar electrode, Barrel cortex.

Author Contributions

  • Chaitanya Chintaluri (CC)
  • Espen Hagen (EH)
  • Michał Czerwinski (MC)

EH implemented the iCSD methods and StandardCSD. CC implemented the kCSD methods, kCSD1D (MC and CC). CC and EH developed the interface to Elephant.