Intracellular neuronal recording in awake nonhuman primates

Lixia Gao, Xiaoqin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Intracellular neuronal recordings from the brain of awake nonhuman primates have remained difficult to obtain because of several formidable technical challenges, such as poor recording stability and difficulties in maintaining long-term recording conditions. We have developed a technique to record neuronal activity by using a coaxial guide tube and sharp electrode assembly, which allows researchers to repeatedly and reliably perform intracellular recordings in the cortex of awake marmosets. Recordings from individual neurons last from several minutes to more than an hour. A key advantage of this approach is that it does not require dura removal, permitting recordings over weeks and months in a single animal. This protocol describes the step-by-step procedures for construction of a custom-made marmoset chair, head-cap implantation, preparation of the sharp electrode and guide tube, neuronal recording and data analysis. As the technique is practical and easy to adapt, we anticipate that it can also be applied to other mammalian models, including larger-size nonhuman primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3615-3631
Number of pages17
JournalNature protocols
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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