Tobi Szuts
Harvard University

Wireless recording of neural activity in the visual cortex of a freely moving rat

Wednesday 08th of September 2010 at 12:00pm
508-20 Evans Hall

Conventional neural recording systems restrict behavioral experiments to a flat indoor environment compatible with the cable that tethers the subject to the recording instruments. To overcome these constraints, we developed a wireless multi-channel system for recording neural signals from a freely moving animal the size of a rat or larger. The device takes up to 64 voltage signals from implanted electrodes, samples each at 20 kHz, time-division multiplexes them onto a single output line, and transmits that output by radio frequency to a receiver and recording computer up to >60 m away. The system introduces less than 4 ?V RMS of electrode-referred noise, comparable to wired recording systems and considerably less than biological noise. The system has greater channel count or transmission distance than existing telemetry systems. The wireless system has been used to record from the visual cortex of a rat during unconstrained conditions. Outdoor recordings show V1 activity is modulated by nest-building activity. During unguided behavior indoors, neurons responded rapidly and consistently to changes in light level, suppressive effects were prominent in response to an illuminant transition, and firing rate was strongly modulated by locomotion. Neural firing in the visual cortex is relatively sparse and moderate correlations are observed over large distances, suggesting that synchrony is driven by global processes.

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