Interest in recording multi-channel electrophysiological data from behaving animals is rapidly growing, and many laboratories tend to record a large number of EEG and/or multi-unit channels, despite the limitation of the size of the headpiece that a small behaving animal can carry. A common drawback of these experiments, therefore, is the relatively large size of even the smallest, commercially available, high-density micro-connectors for the headset. To overcome this problem, we suggest the application of elastomeric or silicone inter-rubber connectors, that are widely used in electronics. The elastomeric or 'zebra' connector consists of alternating thin strips of layered electrically conductive and non-conductive materials. The conductive strips provide electrical connections between uninsulated contact surfaces of printed circuit boards such as the connector plate of the micro-drive, that holds the brain electrode wires, and the preamplifier board of the recording system. In the present paper, we provide technical details of the design of this type of connector-sets and discuss common issues arising from their use. By comparing the applicability of two designs, we aim to demonstrate the simplicity, reliability and durability of the elastomeric inter-rubber connectors in electrophysiological experiments on freely moving laboratory animals.
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