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Docosahexaenoic acid partially ameliorates deficits in social behavior and ultrasonic vocalizations caused by prenatal ethanol exposure.

Prenatal ethanol exposure disrupts social behavior in humans and rodents. One system particularly important for social behavior is the somatosensory system. Prenatal ethanol exposure alters the structure and function of this area. Docosahexaenoic acid DHA , an omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acid, is necessary for normal brain development and brains from ethanol-exposed animals are DHA deficient. Thus, we determined whether postnatal DHA supplementation ameliorated behavioral deficits induced by prenatal ethanol exposure.

Timed pregnant Long-Evans rats were assigned to one of three groups: ad libitum access to an ethanol-containing liquid diet, pair fed an isocaloric isonutritive non-alcohol liquid diet, or ad libitum access to chow and water. A third group was left untreated. Isolation-induced ultrasonic vocalizations iUSVs were recorded on P Somatosensory performance was tested with a gap crossing test around P33 or on P Anxiety was tested on elevated plus maze around P Animals exposed to ethanol prenatally vocalized less, play fought less, and crossed a significantly shorter gap than control-treated animals.

Administration of DHA ameliorated these ethanol-induced deficits such that the ethanol-exposed animals given DHA were no longer significantly different to control-treated animals. Thus, DHA administration may have therapeutic value to reverse some of ethanol's damaging effects. Kalcounis-Rueppell, Matina C. Background Ultrasonic vocalizations USVs emitted by muroid rodents, including laboratory mice and rats, are used as phenotypic markers in behavioral assays and biomedical research.

However, there has never been a study of muroid rodent ultrasound function in the wild and comparisons of USVs produced by wild and laboratory rodents are lacking to date. Here, we report the first comparison of wild and captive rodent USVs recorded from the same species, Peromyscus californicus. To determine which California mouse in the wild was vocalizing , we used a remote sensing method that used a microphone acoustic localization array coupled with automated radio telemetry of all resident Peromyscus californicus in the area of the acoustic localization array.

California mice in the laboratory and the wild produced the same types of USV motifs. However, wild California mice produced USVs that were 2—8 kHz higher in median frequency and significantly more variable in frequency than laboratory California mice. Significance The similarity in overall form of USVs from wild and laboratory California mice demonstrates that production of USVs by captive Peromyscus is not an artifact of captivity.

Our study validates the widespread use of USVs in laboratory rodents as behavioral indicators but highlights that particular characteristics of laboratory USVs may not reflect natural conditions. Acoustic alterations of ultrasonic vocalization in rat pups induced by perinatal hypothyroidism. Perinatal hypothyroidism causes serious damage to auditory functions that are essential for vocalization development.

In rat pups, perinatal hypothyroidism potentially affects the development of ultrasonic vocalization USV as a result of hearing deficits. This study examined the effect of perinatal hypothyroidism on the development of USVs in rat pups.

Twelve pregnant rats were divided into three groups and treated with the anti-thyroid drug methimazole MMI via drinking water, from gestational day 15 to postnatal day PND After birth, the pups were individually separated from the dam and littermates on PNDs 5, 10, 15, and 20, and their USVs were recorded for 5min. On PNDs 5 and 10, compared with the control group, the low- and high-dose groups exhibited reductions of both frequency-modulated and downward USVs.

On PND 15, however, the low- and high-dose groups displayed increases in number, duration, and amplitude of USVs compared with those in the control group. Lower body weights were observed for the low- and high-dose groups than for the control group. Total thyroxine concentrations in plasma were dose-dependently reduced.

The onset of auditory functions appeared on PNDs The developmental retardation of vocalization -related organs or muscles might underlie the acoustic alterations of USVs on PNDs 5 and The greater number, duration, and amplitude of USVs on PND 15, after which the hearing onset occurred, suggested that the elevation of auditory thresholds occurred as a result of hearing deficits in the low- and high-dose groups.

Perinatal hypothyroidism appears to have caused acoustic alterations in the USV development. Prenatal chlorpyrifos exposure alters motor behavior and ultrasonic vocalization in cd-1 mouse pups. Studies from animal models indicate that CPF is a developmental neurotoxicant able to target immature central nervous system at dose levels well below the threshold of systemic toxicity. So far, few data are available on the potential short- and long-term adverse effects in children deriving from low-level exposures during prenatal life and infancy.

Pups' motor skills were assessed in a spontaneous activity test on PND Maternal behavior of lactating dams in the home cage and in response to presentation of a pup previously removed from the nest was scored on PND 4, to verify potential alterations in maternal care directly induced by CPF administration. Results As for the effects on the offspring, results indicated that on PND 10, CPF significantly decreased number and duration of ultrasonic calls while increasing latency to emit the first call after isolation.

Dams administered during gestation with CPF showed baseline levels of maternal care comparable to those of controls, but higher levels of both pup-directed licking and explorative wall rearing responses. Conclusion Overall our results are consistent with previous epidemiological data on OP neurobehavioral toxicity, and also indicate ultrasonic vocalization as an early marker of CPF exposure during development in rodent studies, with potential translational value to human infants.

Ultrasonic vocalizations in golden hamsters Mesocricetus auratus reveal modest sex differences and nonlinear signals of sexual motivation.

Vocal signaling is one of many behaviors that animals perform during social interactions. Vocalizations produced by both sexes before mating can communicate sex, identity and condition of the caller.

Adult golden hamsters produce ultrasonic vocalizations USV after intersexual contact. To determine whether these vocalizations are sexually dimorphic, we analyzed the vocal repertoire for sex differences in: 1 calling rates, 2 composition structural complexity, call types and nonlinear phenomena and 3 acoustic structure. In addition, we examined it for individual variation in the calls. The vocal repertoire was mainly composed of 1-note simple calls and at least half of them presented some degree of deterministic chaos.

The prevalence of this nonlinear phenomenon was confirmed by low values of harmonic-to-noise ratio for most calls. We found modest sexual differences between repertoires. Males were more likely than females to produce tonal and less chaotic calls, as well as call types with frequency jumps. Multivariate analysis of the acoustic features of 1-note simple calls revealed significant sex differences in the second axis represented mostly by entropy and bandwidth parameters. Male calls showed lower entropy and inter-quartile bandwidth than female calls.

Because the variation of acoustic structure within individuals was higher than among individuals, USV could not be reliably assigned to the correct individual. Interestingly, however, this high variability, augmented by the prevalence of chaos and frequency jumps, could be the result of increased vocal effort.

Hamsters motivated to produce high calling rates also produced longer calls of broader bandwidth.

Thus, the sex differences found could be the result of different sex preferences but also of a sex difference in calling motivation or condition. We suggest that variable and complex USV may have been selected to increase responsiveness of a potential mate by communicating sexual arousal and. Mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations USVs during a variety of conditions, such as pup isolation and adult social interactions.

These USVs differ with age, sex, condition, and genetic background of the emitting animal. Although many studies have characterized these differences, whether receiver mice can discriminate among objectively different USVs and show preferences for particular sound traits remains to be elucidated.

To determine whether mice can discriminate between different characteristics of USVs, a playback experiment was developed recently, in which preference responses of mice to two different USVs could be evaluated in the form of a place preference. First, USVs from mice were recorded. Then, the recorded USVs were edited, trimmed accordingly, and exported as stereophonic sound files. Next, the USV amplitudes generated by the two ultrasound emitters used in the experiment were adjusted to the same sound pressure level.

Nanocrystalline silicon thermo-acoustic emitters were used to play the USVs back. Finally, to investigate the preference of subject mice to selected USVs, pairs of two differing USV signals were played back simultaneously in a two-choice test box.


By repeatedly entering a defined zone near an ultrasound emitter and searching the wire mesh in front of the emitter, the mouse reveals its preference for one sound over another. This model allows comparing the attractiveness of the various features of mouse USVs, in various contexts. Ultrasonic Vocalizations : evidence for an affective opponent process during cocaine self-administration. Barker, David J. Rationale Preclinical models of cocaine addiction in the rodent have shown that cocaine induces both positive and negative affective states. In the rodent, one method for inferring positive and negative affective states involves measuring their ultrasonic vocalizations USVs.

Previous USV recordings from our laboratory suggested that the transition between positive and negative affect might involve decaying or sub-satiety levels of selfadministered cocaine. Objectives In order to explicitly test the role of cocaine levels on these affective states, the present study examined USVs when calculated body levels of cocaine were clamped i.

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Conclusions The results reinforce the opponent-process hypothesis of addiction and suggest that an understanding of the mechanisms underlying negative affect might serve to inform behavioral and pharmacological therapies. Humans and song-learning birds communicate acoustically using learned vocalizations.

The characteristic features of this social communication behavior include vocal control by forebrain motor areas, a direct cortical projection to brainstem vocal motor neurons, and dependence on auditory feedback to develop and maintain learned vocalizations. These features have so far not been found in closely related primate and avian species that do not learn vocalizations.

Male mice produce courtship ultrasonic vocalizations with acoustic features similar to songs of song-learning birds. However, it is assumed that mice lack a forebrain system for vocal modification and that their ultrasonic vocalizations are innate. Here we investigated the mouse song system and discovered that it includes a motor cortex region active during singing, that projects directly to brainstem vocal motor neurons and is necessary for keeping song more stereotyped and on pitch. We also discovered that male mice depend on auditory feedback to maintain some ultrasonic song features, and that sub-strains with differences in their songs can match each other's pitch when cross-housed under competitive social conditions.

We conclude that male mice have some limited vocal modification abilities with at least some neuroanatomical features thought to be unique to humans and song-learning birds. To explain our findings, we propose a continuum hypothesis of vocal learning.