A multielectrode implant device for the cerebral cortex

R. Christopher Decharms, David T. Blake, Michael M. Merzenich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A new class of brain implant technology was developed that allows the simultaneous recording of voltage signals from many individual neurons in the cerebral cortex during cognitive tasks. The device allows recording from 49 independent positions spanning a 2x2-mm region of neural tissue. The recording electrodes are positioned in a square grid with 350 μm spacing, and each microelectrode can be precisely independently vertically positioned using a hydraulic microdrive. The device utilizes ultrafine, sharp iridium microelectrodes that minimize mechanical disturbance of the region near the electrode tip and produce low noise neuronal recordings. The total weight of this device is less than 20 g, and the device is reusable. The implant device has been used for transdural recordings in primary somatosensory and auditory cortices of marmosets, owl monkeys, and rats. On a typical day, one-third of the microelectrodes yield well-discriminated single neuron action potential waveforms. Additional array electrodes yield lower amplitude driven multiunit activity. The average signal-to-noise ratio of discriminated action potential waveforms 6 months after implantation was greater than 9. Simple design alternatives are discussed that can increase the number of electrodes in the array and the depths at which dense array recordings can be achieved. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-35
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 30 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Array
  • Auditory
  • Behavior
  • Population coding
  • Primate
  • Somatosensory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A multielectrode implant device for the cerebral cortex'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this