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J Neurophysiol. 2007 Dec;98(6):3780-90. Epub 2007 Oct 17.

Recording chronically from the same neurons in awake, behaving primates.

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Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Tübingen, Germany.


Understanding the mechanisms of learning requires characterizing how the response properties of individual neurons and interactions across populations of neurons change over time. To study learning in vivo, we need the ability to track an electrophysiological signature that uniquely identifies each recorded neuron for extended periods of time. We have identified such an extracellular signature using a statistical framework that allows quantification of the accuracy by which stable neurons can be identified across successive recording sessions. Our statistical framework uses spike waveform information recorded on a tetrode's four channels to define a measure of similarity between neurons recorded across time. We use this framework to quantitatively demonstrate for the first time the ability to record from the same neurons across multiple consecutive days and weeks. The chronic recording techniques and methods of analyses we report can be used to characterize the changes in brain circuits due to learning.

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