A wireless multi-channel recording system for freely behaving mice and rats.


To understand the neural basis of behavior, it is necessary to record brain activity in freely moving animals. Advances in implantable multi-electrode array technology have enabled researchers to record the activity of neuronal ensembles from multiple brain regions. The full potential of this approach is currently limited by reliance on cable tethers, with bundles of wires connecting the implanted electrodes to the data acquisition system while impeding the natural behavior of the animal. To overcome these limitations, here we introduce a multi-channel wireless headstage system designed for small animals such as rats and mice. A variety of single unit and local field potential signals were recorded from the dorsal striatum and substantia nigra in mice and the ventral striatum and prefrontal cortex simultaneously in rats. This wireless system could be interfaced with commercially available data acquisition systems, and the signals obtained were comparable in quality to those acquired using cable tethers. On account of its small size, light weight, and rechargeable battery, this wireless headstage system is suitable for studying the neural basis of natural behavior, eliminating the need for wires, commutators, and other limitations associated with traditional tethered recording systems.





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Publication Info

Fan, David, Dylan Rich, Tahl Holtzman, Patrick Ruther, Jeffrey W Dalley, Alberto Lopez, Mark A Rossi, Joseph W Barter, et al. (2011). A wireless multi-channel recording system for freely behaving mice and rats. PLoS One, 6(7). p. e22033. 10.1371/journal.pone.0022033 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/13451.

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Henry Yin

Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience

I am interested in understanding the neural mechanisms underlying goal-directed actions. For the first time in history, advances in psychology and neurobiology have made it feasible to pursue the detailed neural mechanisms underlying goal-directed and voluntary actions--how they are driven by the needs and desires of the organism and controlled by cognitive processes that provide a rich representation of the self and the world. My approach to this problem is highly integrative, combining behavioral analysis with electrophysiological techniques as well as tools from molecular biology. In the near future three techniques will be emphasized. 1) Dissecting reward-guided behavior using analytical behavioral assays. 2) In vivo recording from cerebral cortex, thalamus, midbrain, and basal ganglia in awake behaving rodents. Up to hundreds of neurons can be recorded from multiple brain areas that form a functional neural network in a single animal. 3) In vitro (and ex vivo) whole-cell patch-clamp recording in brain slices, with the aid of genetic tools for visualization of distinct neuronal populations. Ultimately, I hope to characterize goal-directed actions at multiple levels of analysis--from molecules to neural networks. This knowledge will provide us with insight into various pathological conditions characterized by impaired goal-directed behaviors, such as drug addiction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.

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