Our ability to learn, create memories, and recall those memories affects our behavior and decisions. These actions require the communication of millions of neurons between different regions of the brain. To understand this complex communication system, we need to interface with multiple regions of the brain chronically, and be able to record signals in an awake behaving animal, all while minimally damaging tissue in the process.
To this end, LLNL and academic collaborators are developing a high-channel count, penetrating neural interface with integrated light-guides. This technology will enable high-fidelity neural recordings using 500-1000 electrodes, as well as precise optogenetic manipulation. Concurrently, the team is developing a new generation of multiplexing electrical connectors to allow full use of the high-density neural interface. The science and technology enabled will contribute to our fundamental understanding of learning and memory and provide a technological platform that can be used to study other brain functions.