An information geometrical method is developed for characterizing or classifying neurons in cortical areas, whose spike rates fluctuate in time. Under the assumption that the interspike intervals of a spike sequence of a neuron obey a gamma process with a time-variant spike rate and a fixed shape parameter, we formulate the problem of characterization as a semiparametric statistical estimation, where the spike rate is a nuisance parameter. We derive optimal criteria from the information geometrical viewpoint when certain assumptions are added to the formulation, and we show that some existing measures, such as the coefficient of variation and the local variation, are expressed as estimators of certain functions under the same assumptions.

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