Challenges and opportunities for large-scale electrophysiology with Neuropixels probes

Curr Opin Neurobiol. 2018 Jun:50:92-100. doi: 10.1016/j.conb.2018.01.009. Epub 2018 Feb 13.


Electrophysiological methods are the gold standard in neuroscience because they reveal the activity of individual neurons at high temporal resolution and in arbitrary brain locations. Microelectrode arrays based on complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology, such as Neuropixels probes, look set to transform these methods. Neuropixels probes provide ∼1000 recording sites on an extremely narrow shank, with on-board amplification, digitization, and multiplexing. They deliver low-noise recordings from hundreds of neurons, providing a step change in the type of data available to neuroscientists. Here we discuss the opportunities afforded by these probes for large-scale electrophysiology, the challenges associated with data processing and anatomical localization, and avenues for further improvements of the technology.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / cytology
  • Electrophysiology / instrumentation*
  • Electrophysiology / methods*
  • Humans
  • Microelectrodes*
  • Nerve Net / cytology
  • Nerve Net / physiology
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Semiconductors*