Parallel recording of neuronal activity in the behaving animal is a prerequisite for our understanding of neuronal representation and storage of information. Here we describe the development of micro-machined silicon microelectrode arrays for unit and local field recordings. The two-dimensional probes with 96 or 64 recording sites provided high-density recording of unit and field activity with minimal tissue displacement or damage. The on-chip active circuit eliminated movement and other artifacts and greatly reduced the weight of the headgear. The precise geometry of the recording tips allowed for the estimation of the spatial location of the recorded neurons and for high-resolution estimation of extracellular current source density. Action potentials could be simultaneously recorded from the soma and dendrites of the same neurons. Silicon technology is a promising approach for high-density, high-resolution sampling of neuronal activity in both basic research and prosthetic devices.
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