Intracranial Recordings

We conduct rare studies in neurosurgical patients, in whom we can record from single brain cells.  These studies are being done in collaboration with the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Iowa, Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, CA, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the epilepsy monitoring program at the University of Bonn in Germany.

This research is done in patients who have severe epilepsy, and who are candidates for neurosurgical removal of that region of the brain causing their seizures.  In some cases, this requires the implantation of electrodes into, and on top of, the brain in order to localize where the seizures originate.  During this monitoring time the patients can elect to participate in our research programs.

An example of the data recorded at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, with our collaborator Dr. Ueli Rutishauser are shown in the figure below.

Figure A:Broadband intracranial EEG recordings.
Figure B:Filtered extracellular recordings from small microwires, showing action potentials from single human neurons.


Mormann, F., Niediek, J., Tudusciuc, O., Quesada, C.M., Coenen, V.A., Elger, C.E., & Adolphs, R. (2015). Neurons in the human amygdala encode face identity, but not gaze directionNat Neurosci. 18(11):1568-70. doi: 10.1038/nn.4139.

Rutishauser, U., Mamelak, A. N., & Adolphs, R. (2015). The primate amygdala in social perception – insights from electrophysiological recordings and stimulation. Trends in Neurosciences, 38(5), 295-306. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2015.03.001

Adolphs, R., Kawasaki, H., Tudusciuc, O., Howard, M., Heller, C., Sutherling, W., . . . Rutishauser, U. (2014). Electrophysiological responses to faces in the human amygdala. In I. Fried, U. Rutishauser, M. Cerf, & G. Kreiman (Eds.), Single Neuron Studies of the Human Brain: Probing Cognition (pp. 230 – 244). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Wang, S., Tudusciuc, O., Mamelak, A. N., Ross, I. B., Adolphs, R., & Rutishauser, U. (2014). Neurons in the human amygdala selective for perceived emotion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 111(30), E3110-E3119. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1323342111

Rutishauser, U., Tudusciuc, O., Wang, S., Mamelak, A. N., Ross, I. B., & Adolphs, R. (2013). Single-neuron correlates of atypical face processing in autism. Neuron, 80(4), 887-899. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2013.08.029

Kovach, C. K., Tsuchiya, N., Kawasaki, H., Oya, H., Howard, M. A., III, & Adolphs, R. (2011). Manifestation of ocular-muscle EMG contamination in human intracranial recordings. Neuroimage, 54(1), 213-233. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2010.08.002

Rutishauser, U., Tudusciuc, O., Neumann, D., Mamelak, A. N., Heller, A. C., Ross, I. B., . . . Adolphs, R. (2011). Single-unit responses selective for whole faces in the human amygdala. Current Biology, 21(19), 1654-1660. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2011.08.035

Tsuchiya, N., Chung, J., Eliashiv, D., Adolphs, R., & Mamelak, A. (2011). Visual consciousness tracked with direct intracranial recording from the early visual cortex in humans. Neuroscience Research, 71, E49-E50. doi: 10.1016/j.neures.2011.07.209

Tsuchiya, N., Kawasaki, H., Oya, H., Howard, M. A., III, & Adolphs, R. (2008). Decoding face information in time, frequency and space from direct intracranial recordings of the human brain. PLoS ONE, 3(12). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0003892

Kawasaki, H., Adolphs, R., Oya, H., Kovach, C., Damasio, H., Kaufman, O., & Howard, M. (2005). Analysis of single-unit responses to emotional scenes in human ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 17(10), 1509-1518. doi: 10.1162/089892905774597182

Kawasaki, H., Kaufman, O., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. R., Granner, M., Bakken, H., Hori, T., Howard, M. A. 3rd, & Adolphs, R. (2001). Single-neuron responses to emotional visual stimuli recorded in human ventral prefrontal cortex. Nature Neuroscience, 4(1), 15-16.