Ultrasound-guided insertion of intramuscular electrodes into suboccipital muscles in the non-human primate

J Electromyogr Kinesiol. 2012 Aug;22(4):553-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jelekin.2012.02.014. Epub 2012 Mar 22.


The head-neck system is highly complex from a biomechanical and musculoskeletal perspective. Currently, the options for recording the recruitment of deep neck muscles in experimental animals are limited to chronic approaches requiring permanent implantation of electromyographic electrodes. Here, we describe a method for targeting deep muscles of the dorsal neck in non-human primates with intramuscular electrodes that are inserted acutely. Electrode insertion is guided by ultrasonography, which is necessary to ensure placement of the electrode in the target muscle. To confirm electrode placement, we delivered threshold electrical stimulation through the intramuscular electrode and visualized the muscle twitch. In one animal, we also compared recordings obtained from acutely- and chronically-implanted electrodes. This method increases the options for accessing deep neck muscles, and hence could be used in experiments for which the invasive surgery inherent to a chronic implant is not appropriate. This method could also be extended to the injection of pharmacological agents or anatomical tracers into specific neck muscles.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Neck Muscles / physiology*
  • Ultrasonography, Interventional / methods*