High-Density, Long-Lasting, and Multi-region Electrophysiological Recordings Using Polymer Electrode Arrays

Neuron. 2019 Jan 2;101(1):21-31.e5. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2018.11.002. Epub 2018 Nov 27.


The brain is a massive neuronal network, organized into anatomically distributed sub-circuits, with functionally relevant activity occurring at timescales ranging from milliseconds to years. Current methods to monitor neural activity, however, lack the necessary conjunction of anatomical spatial coverage, temporal resolution, and long-term stability to measure this distributed activity. Here we introduce a large-scale, multi-site, extracellular recording platform that integrates polymer electrodes with a modular stacking headstage design supporting up to 1,024 recording channels in freely behaving rats. This system can support months-long recordings from hundreds of well-isolated units across multiple brain regions. Moreover, these recordings are stable enough to track large numbers of single units for over a week. This platform enables large-scale electrophysiological interrogation of the fast dynamics and long-timescale evolution of anatomically distributed circuits, and thereby provides a new tool for understanding brain activity.

Keywords: freely behaving; headstage; massively parallel; modular; multi-electrode recording; polymer; probe; rat; single neuron; spike sorting.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Electrodes, Implanted / standards*
  • Electrodes, Implanted / trends
  • Electrophysiological Phenomena / physiology*
  • Male
  • Nerve Net / physiology*
  • Polymers / standards*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Long-Evans


  • Polymers