Normalized Lempel-Ziv complexity, which measures the generation rate of new patterns along a digital sequence, is closely related to such important source properties as entropy and compression ratio, but, in contrast to these, it is a property of individual sequences. In this article, we propose to exploit this concept to estimate (or, at least, to bound from below) the entropy of neural discharges (spike trains). The main advantages of this method include fast convergence of the estimator (as supported by numerical simulation) and the fact that there is no need to know the probability law of the process generating the signal. Furthermore, we present numerical and experimental comparisons of the new method against the standard method based on word frequencies, providing evidence that this new approach is an alternative entropy estimator for binned spike trains.

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