Neurons in action

A brain implant developed by Stanford University scientists has been shown in mice to be able to record the activity of thousands of individual neurons.

A group of Stanford University researchers developed a device that can be implanted into the brain to film the activities of thousands of individual neurons, according to a paper published March 20 in Science Advances.

The device, which could be used for research or in prosthetics and has been tested in mice, contains a bundle of microwires that are each less than half the width of the thinnest human hair and are directed into the brain to record passing electrical signals.

“Electrical activity is one of the highest-resolution ways of looking at brain activity,” said Nick Melosh, PhD, professor of materials science and engineering and co-senior author of the paper.

“With this microwire array, we can see what’s happening on the single-neuron level.”