A wireless multi-channel recording system for freely behaving mice and rats

David Fan, Dylan Rich, Tahl Holtzman, Patrick Ruther, Jeffrey W. Dalley, Alberto Lopez, Mark A. Rossi, Joseph W. Barter, Daniel Salas-Meza, Stanislav Herwik, Tobias Holzhammer, James Morizio, Henry H. Yin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Scopus citations


To understand the neural basis of behavior, it is necessary to record brain activity in freely moving animals. Advances in implantable multi-electrode array technology have enabled researchers to record the activity of neuronal ensembles from multiple brain regions. The full potential of this approach is currently limited by reliance on cable tethers, with bundles of wires connecting the implanted electrodes to the data acquisition system while impeding the natural behavior of the animal. To overcome these limitations, here we introduce a multi-channel wireless headstage system designed for small animals such as rats and mice. A variety of single unit and local field potential signals were recorded from the dorsal striatum and substantia nigra in mice and the ventral striatum and prefrontal cortex simultaneously in rats. This wireless system could be interfaced with commercially available data acquisition systems, and the signals obtained were comparable in quality to those acquired using cable tethers. On account of its small size, light weight, and rechargeable battery, this wireless headstage system is suitable for studying the neural basis of natural behavior, eliminating the need for wires, commutators, and other limitations associated with traditional tethered recording systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere22033
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General


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