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High-density extracellular probes reveal dendritic backpropagation and facilitate neuron classification

By Xiaoxuan Jia, Josh Siegle, Corbett Bennett, Sam Gale, Daniel R Denman, Christof Koch, Shawn R Olsen

Posted 25 Jul 2018
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/376863 (published DOI: 10.1152/jn.00680.2018)

Different neuron types serve distinct roles in neural processing. Extracellular electrical recordings are extensively used to study brain function but are typically blind to cell identity. Morpho-electric properties of neurons measured on spatially dense electrode arrays might be useful for distinguishing neuron types. Here we used Neuropixels probes to record from cortical and subcortical regions of the mouse brain. Extracellular waveforms of each neuron were detected across many channels and showed distinct spatiotemporal profiles among brain regions. Classification of neurons by brain region was improved with multi-channel compared to single-channel waveforms. In visual cortex, waveform clustering identified the canonical regular spiking (RS) and fast spiking (FS) classes, but also uncovered a subclass of RS units with unidirectional backpropagating action potentials (BAPs). Moreover, BAPs were observed in many hippocampal RS cells. Overall, waveform analysis of spikes from high-density probes aids neuron identification and can reveal dendritic backpropagation.

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