The Belgian Research Institute Imec is finalizing a new generation of brain investigations. By using Neuropixels 2.0, researchers can better record individual neuron activity in animals for a longer period of time.
The new sensors According to the researchers Smaller than the first generation Neuropixels developed by the research firm in 2017. It contains four recording channels instead of a single recording channel from the previous generation.
Work has also been done on processing platform data. “Our researchers have developed a new way to process the data. This, combined with the modified mapping in the probe, ensures that Neuropixels 2.0 is more suitable for the applications we envision,” So Research associate Tim Harris. “With the new probe, it is possible to measure a larger area of the brain, which not only benefits the recordings, but is also suitable for measuring activity in the thin layers of the brain,” the press release authors said.
The researchers also want to use Neuropixels 2.0 to explore how learning and preservation occurs in small mammalian brains. This requires long-term monitoring of the electrical activity of individual neurons. “Observing neurons is a difficult task. After all, every brain moves when the animal in question makes a movement.” Using these new sensors, researchers can record activity at more than 6,000 different points in the brain. “Thanks to our improved design, it is possible to capture a moving neuron that disappears from the sensory field of view of one point by another sensing point nearby,” Harris said.
The first generation of neuronal pixels is used in more than 400 labs around the world to study electrical potentials in brain neurons in animals, according to IMEC. The Research Office hopes that the new sensors can be used in 2022.