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Allen Institute for Brain Science partners with imec for development of next-generation tools
Date:11/7/2013

SEATTLE, Wash.November 7, 2013The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced today that it contracted with imec, a nanoelectronics research center, to develop and manufacture a state-of-the-art sensor array for recording neural activity in animal brains. The Allen Institute for Brain Science in partnership with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI), the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and University College London (UCL), have committed $5.5 million in R&D for the revolutionary neuroscience research tools.

The proposed sensor array will advance current neural probe technology used to detect extracellular electrical activity in the brain. The innovative solution will incorporate recording electrodes at a much higher density and provide an order of magnitude better performance than existing technology, allowing researchers to record brain activity with unprecedented combination of resolution and ability to record from a very large number of sites. The sensor arrays under development have the potential to enable transformational neurobiology experiments and contribute to a fundamentally improved understanding of how neurons in the brain work together to process information and control behavior. We expect these devices, two years in the planning, will have a direct impact in advancing brain research across a broad front, including the BRAIN Initiative, as advocated by U.S. President Barack Obama in his speech on April 2, 2013. These new probes will address the basic understanding of brain function, such as how sensory information, visual images in the eye or whisker touches, flows into and between brain regions, and is processed by the cortex.

"The advanced microelectronics built and tested by our consortium will enable any neuroscientist to pick up with ease, using a single piece of machined silicon, the electrical signals generated by hundreds of individual nerve cells. With this advanced tool we can listen to their chatte
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Contact: Steven Cooper
press@alleninstitute.org
646-358-2765
Edelman Public Relations
Source:Eurekalert

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