Whisker electromyograms signify awake and anesthetized states in mice

Neurosci Res. 2019 Nov;148:61-65. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2018.12.002. Epub 2018 Dec 26.


The behavioral state of animals is essential information for functional recordings of neuronal activity; practically, the exact timing when animals recover from anesthesia is important information. Recordings of cortical local field potentials and dorsal neck electromyograms (EMGs), a widely used method to identify behavioral states, requires at least two recording electrodes, one of which also requires a craniotomy procedure. In the present study, recordings of whisker EMGs alone are sufficient to detect the state switch from anesthesia to awakening in head-fixed mice. This method uses a single electrode and thus is technically simple and demands a less physical burden to animals. Moreover, whisker EMGs recorded under anesthesia reflect respiratory rhythms.

Keywords: Anesthesia; Awakening; Brain; Isoflurane; Urethane.

Publication types

  • Technical Report

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia
  • Animals
  • Electromyography
  • Isoflurane
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Neurons / physiology
  • Vibrissae / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*


  • Isoflurane