Video_5_Chronic, Multi-Site Recordings Supported by Two Low-Cost, Stationary Probe Designs Optimized to Capture Either Single Unit or Local Field Potential Activity in Behaving Rats.MP4
Rodent models of cognitive behavior have greatly contributed to our understanding of human neuropsychiatric disorders. However, to elucidate the neurobiological underpinnings of such disorders or impairments, animal models are more useful when paired with methods for measuring brain function in awake, behaving animals. Standard tools used for systems-neuroscience level investigations are not optimized for large-scale and high-throughput behavioral battery testing due to various factors including cost, time, poor longevity, and selective targeting limited to measuring only a few brain regions at a time. Here we describe two different “user-friendly” methods for building extracellular electrophysiological probes that can be used to measure either single units or local field potentials in rats performing cognitive tasks. Both probe designs leverage several readily available, yet affordable, commercial products to facilitate ease of production and offer maximum flexibility in terms of brain-target locations that can be scalable (32–64 channels) based on experimental needs. Our approach allows neural activity to be recorded simultaneously with behavior and compared between micro (single unit) and more macro (local field potentials) levels of brain activity in order to gain a better understanding of how local brain regions and their connected networks support cognitive functions in rats. We believe our novel probe designs make collecting electrophysiology data easier and will begin to fill the gap in knowledge between basic and clinical research.