Simultaneous Recordings of Cortical Local Field Potentials, Electrocardiogram, Electromyogram, and Breathing Rhythm from a Freely Moving Rat

J Vis Exp. 2018 Apr 2;(134):56980. doi: 10.3791/56980.


Monitoring the physiological dynamics of the brain and peripheral tissues is necessary for addressing a number of questions about how the brain controls body functions and internal organ rhythms when animals are exposed to emotional challenges and changes in their living environments. In general experiments, signals from different organs, such as the brain and the heart, are recorded by independent recording systems that require multiple recording devices and different procedures for processing the data files. This study describes a new method that can simultaneously monitor electrical biosignals, including tens of local field potentials in multiple brain regions, electrocardiograms that represent the cardiac rhythm, electromyograms that represent awake/sleep-related muscle contraction, and breathing signals, in a freely moving rat. The recording configuration of this method is based on a conventional micro-drive array for cortical local field potential recordings in which tens of electrodes are accommodated, and the signals obtained from these electrodes are integrated into a single electrical board mounted on the animal's head. Here, this recording system was improved so that signals from the peripheral organs are also transferred to an electrical interface board. In a single surgery, electrodes are first separately implanted into the appropriate body parts and the target brain areas. The open ends of all of these electrodes are then soldered to individual channels of the electrical board above the animal's head so that all of the signals can be integrated into the single electrical board. Connecting this board to a recording device allows for the collection of all of the signals into a single device, which reduces experimental costs and simplifies data processing, because all data can be handled in the same data file. This technique will aid the understanding of the neurophysiological correlates of the associations between central and peripheral organs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Video-Audio Media

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Electrocardiography / methods*
  • Electrodes, Implanted*
  • Electromyography / instrumentation*
  • Electromyography / methods*
  • Rats
  • Respiratory Mechanics / physiology*