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New thin-film surface electrode array enables brain mapping with high spatial acuity in rodents

: Konerding, W.S.; Froriep, Ulrich P.; Kral, A.; Baumhoff, P.

Fulltext ()

Scientific Reports 8 (2018), No.1, Art. 3825, 14 pp.
ISSN: 2045-2322
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ITEM ()

In neuroscience, single-shank penetrating multi-electrode arrays are standard for sequentially sampling several cortical sites with high spatial and temporal resolution, with the disadvantage of neuronal damage. Non-penetrating surface grids used in electrocorticography (ECoG) permit simultaneous recording of multiple cortical sites, with limited spatial resolution, due to distance to neuronal tissue, large contact size and high impedances. Here we compared new thin-film parylene C ECoG grids, covering the guinea pig primary auditory cortex, with simultaneous recordings from penetrating electrode array (PEAs), inserted through openings in the grid material. ECoG grid local field potentials (LFP) showed higher response thresholds and amplitudes compared to PEAs. They enabled, however, fast and reliable tonotopic mapping of the auditory cortex (place-frequency slope: 0.7 mm/octave), with tuning widths similar to PEAs. The ECoG signal correlated best with supragranular layers, exponentially decreasing with cortical depth. The grids also enabled recording of multi-unit activity (MUA), yielding several advantages over LFP recordings, including sharper frequency tunings. ECoG first spike latency showed highest similarity to superficial PEA contacts and MUA traces maximally correlated with PEA recordings from the granular layer. These results confirm high quality of the ECoG grid recordings and the possibility to collect LFP and MUA simultaneously.