Recording extracellular neural activity in the behaving monkey using a semichronic and high-density electrode system

J Neurophysiol. 2016 Aug 1;116(2):563-74. doi: 10.1152/jn.00116.2016. Epub 2016 May 11.


We describe a technique to semichronically record the cortical extracellular neural activity in the behaving monkey employing commercial high-density electrodes. After the design and construction of low cost microdrives that allow varying the depth of the recording locations after the implantation surgery, we recorded the extracellular unit activity from pools of neurons at different depths in the presupplementary motor cortex (pre-SMA) of a rhesus monkey trained in a tapping task. The collected data were processed to classify cells as putative pyramidal cells or interneurons on the basis of their waveform features. We also demonstrate that short time cross-correlogram occasionally yields unit pairs with high short latency (<5 ms), narrow bin (<3 ms) peaks, indicative of monosynaptic spike transmission from pre- to postsynaptic neurons. These methods have been verified extensively in rodents. Finally, we observed that the pattern of population activity was repetitive over distinct trials of the tapping task. These results show that the semichronic technique is a viable option for the large-scale parallel recording of local circuit activity at different depths in the cortex of the macaque monkey and other large species.

Keywords: monkey; multielectrodes; population dynamics; pyramidal interneurons; silicon shanks.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Action Potentials / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Macaca mulatta
  • Male
  • Motor Cortex / cytology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology*
  • Reaction Time
  • Time Factors
  • Wakefulness*