To understand how the brain operates, we must measure the joint activity of a myriad individual neurons distributed across brain regions. Until recently, this has been impossible: recording methods could either resolve the activity of individual neurons or monitor multiple brain regions. In 2017, Neuropixels probes overcame this difficulty by distributing close to 1,000 sites over a narrow, one-centimeter shank. In the rodent brain, these sites record from hundreds of neurons distributed across brain regions.
The next generation of probes, Neuropixels 2.0, add extended capabilities to record from larger population in small brains during free movement, while allowing experimenters to record from the same neurons for weeks or even months.
The engineering behind Neuropixels is led by Tim Harris at Janelia Research Campus and is delivered by the engineers at IMEC, the nanoelectronics research center. Testing and applications of the probes are performed at University College London and other institutions around the world.