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Nat Neurosci. 2011 Feb;14(2):263-9. doi: 10.1038/nn.2730. Epub 2011 Jan 16.

A wireless multi-channel neural amplifier for freely moving animals.

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Program in Biophysics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA.


Conventional neural recording systems restrict behavioral experiments to a flat indoor environment compatible with the cable that tethers the subject to recording instruments. To overcome these constraints, we developed a wireless multi-channel system for recording neural signals from rats. The device takes up to 64 voltage signals from implanted electrodes, samples each at 20 kHz, time-division multiplexes them into one signal and transmits that output by radio frequency to a receiver up to 60 m away. The system introduces <4 μV of electrode-referred noise, comparable to wired recording systems, and outperforms existing rodent telemetry systems in channel count, weight and transmission range. This allows effective recording of brain signals in freely behaving animals. We report measurements of neural population activity taken outdoors and in tunnels. Neural firing in the visual cortex was relatively sparse, correlated even across large distances and was strongly influenced by locomotor activity.

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