Neurons in the mouse brain correlate with cryptocurrency price: a cautionary tale

10.24072/pcjournal.30 - Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article no. e29.

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In this paper I report the discovery of neurons which showed a neural correlate with ongoing fluctuations of Bitcoin and Ethereum prices at the time of the recording. I used the publicly available dataset of Neuropixel recordings by the Allen Institute to correlate the firing rate of single neurons with cryptocurrency price. Out of ~40.000 recorded single neurons, ~70% showed a significant correlation with Bitcoin or Ethereum prices. Even when using the conservative Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons, ~35% of neurons showed a significant correlation, which is well above the expected false positive rate of 5%. These results were due to "nonsense correlations": when correlating two signals which both evolve slowly over time, the chances of finding a significant correlation between the two are much higher than when comparing signals which lack this property.
Published online:
DOI: 10.24072/pcjournal.30
Meijer, Guido 1

1 Champalimaud Centre for the Unkown - Lisbon, Portugal
License: CC-BY 4.0
Copyrights: The authors retain unrestricted copyrights and publishing rights
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Meijer, Guido. Neurons in the mouse brain correlate with cryptocurrency price: a cautionary tale. Peer Community Journal, Volume 1 (2021), article  no. e29. doi : 10.24072/pcjournal.30.

Peer reviewed and recommended by PCI : 10.24072/pci.cneuro.100002

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