AuthorsA. P. Buccino, M. Kuchta, K. H. Jæger, T. V. Ness, P. Berthet, K. Mardal, G. Cauwenberghs and A. Tveito
TitleHow does the presence of neural probes affect extracellular potentials?
AfilliationScientific Computing
Project(s)No Simula project
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
JournalJournal of Neural Engineering
Date Publishedfeb
PublisherIOP} Publishing

{Objective. Mechanistic modeling of neurons is an essential component of computational neuroscience that enables scientists to simulate, explain, and explore neural activity. The conventional approach to simulation of extracellular neural recordings first computes transmembrane currents using the cable equation and then sums their contribution to model the extracellular potential. This two-step approach relies on the assumption that the extracellular space is an infinite and homogeneous conductive medium, while measurements are performed using neural probes. The main purpose of this paper is to assess to what extent the presence of the neural probes of varying shape and size impacts the extracellular field and how to correct for them. Approach. We apply a detailed modeling framework allowing explicit representation of the neuron and the probe to study the effect of the probes and thereby estimate the effect of ignoring it. We use meshes with simplified neurons and different types of probe and compare the extracellular action potentials with and without the probe in the extracellular space. We then compare various solutions to account for the probes’ presence and introduce an efficient probe correction method to include the probe effect in modeling of extracellular potentials. Main results. Our computations show that microwires hardly influence the extracellular electric field and their effect can therefore be ignored. In contrast, multi-electrode arrays (MEAs) significantly affect the extracellular field by magnifying the recorded potential. While MEAs behave similarly to infinite insulated planes, we find that their effect strongly depends on the neuron-probe alignment and probe orientation. Significance. Ignoring the probe effect might be deleterious in some applications, such as neural localization and parameterization of neural models from extracellular recordings. Moreover, the presence of the probe can improve the interpretation of extracellular recordings, by providing a more accurate estimation of the extracellular potential generated by neuronal models.

Citation KeyBuccino_2019

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