Advances in our understanding of neural systems will go hand in hand with improvements in the experimental techniques used to study these systems. This article describes a series of methodological developments aimed at enhancing the power of the methods needed to record simultaneously from populations of neurons over broad regions of the brain in awake, behaving animals. First, our laboratory has made many advances in electrode design, including movable bundle and array electrodes and smaller electrode assemblies. Second, to perform longer and more complex multielectrode implantation surgeries in primates, we have modified our surgical procedures by employing comprehensive physiological monitoring akin to human neuroanesthesia. We have also developed surgical implantation techniques aimed at minimizing brain tissue damage and facilitating penetration of the cortical surface. Third, we have integrated new technologies into our neural ensemble, stimulus and behavioral recording experiments to provide more detailed measurements of experimental variables. Finally, new data analytical techniques are being used in the laboratory to analyze increasingly large quantities of data.
Copyright 2001 Elsevier Science.