Chronic recordings from the marmoset motor cortex reveals modulation of neural firing and local field potentials overlap with macaques

Ramanamurthy Mylavarapu, Noeline W. Prins, Eric A. Pohlmeyer, Alden M. Shoup, Shubham Debnath, Shijia Geng, Justin C. Sanchez, Odelia Schwartz, Abhishek Prasad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective. The common marmoset has been increasingly used in neural interfacing studies due to its smaller size, easier handling, and faster breeding compared to Old World non-human primate (NHP) species. While assessment of cortical anatomy in marmosets has shown strikingly similar layout to macaques, comprehensive assessment of electrophysiological properties underlying forelimb reaching movements in this bridge species does not exist. The objective of this study is to characterize electrophysiological properties of signals recorded from the marmoset primary motor cortex (M1) during a reach task and compare with larger NHP models such that this smaller NHP model can be used in behavioral neural interfacing studies. Approach and main results. Neuronal firing rates and local field potentials (LFPs) were chronically recorded from M1 in three adult, male marmosets. Firing rates, mu + beta and high gamma frequency bands of LFPs were evaluated for modulation with respect to movement. Firing rate and regularity of neurons of the marmoset M1 were similar to that reported in macaques with a subset of neurons showing selectivity to movement direction. Movement phases (rest vs move) was classified from both neural spiking and LFPs. Microelectrode arrays provide the ability to sample small regions of the motor cortex to drive brain-machine interfaces (BMIs). The results demonstrate that marmosets are a robust bridge species for behavioral neuroscience studies with motor cortical electrophysiological signals recorded from microelectrode arrays that are similar to Old World NHPs. Significance. As marmosets represent an interesting step between rodent and macaque models, successful demonstration that neuron modulation in marmoset motor cortex is analogous to reports in macaques illustrates the utility of marmosets as a viable species for BMI studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number0460B2
JournalJournal of neural engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • brain-machine interfaces (BMI)
  • electrophysiological properties
  • marmosets
  • motor cortex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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