Techniques for Extracellular Recordings

  • Jingdong ZhangEmail author
  • Jianxun Xia
  • Huangui Xiong
Part of the Springer Protocols Handbooks book series (SPH)


This chapter provides a general introduction of classifications and applications of the extracellular electrophysiology recording techniques. Among those, recordings of field potentials and compound action potentials on hippocampal brain slices are given as an example to illustrate detailed methods for extracellular recording ex vivo, due to the extensive usage of the rodent hippocampal slices in neuroscience studies. The equipment required for performing the basic experiment is listed in text. The relevant concepts of field excitatory postsynaptic potential (fEPSP), population spikes (PS), and presynaptic volleys (PSV) are described herein. Accordingly, the protocols for recording fEPSP and PS are introduced, along with the analysis and interpretation of the data. The typical results of the recorded fEPSP and PS as waveform figures, as well as the summary of the relevant data as plotting figures, are also illustrated.

In addition, single unit recordings in the cat and rat medullar oblongata are used as examples of an in vivo extracellular recording. The notions and principles of orthodromic- and antidromic- evoked single unit discharge and spontaneous unit discharges are introduced and the protocols for stimulation and recording are provided.


Extracellular recording Field excitatory postsynaptic potential Population spikes Unit recording 


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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Pharmacology and Experimental NeuroscienceUniversity of Nebraska Medical Center, Durham Research CenterOmahaUSA

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