Rodents are social animals that use vocalizations as one of the forms of communication. These vocalizations span a wide spectrum of frequencies, ranging from the human audible range (< 20 kHz) up to ultrasonic levels (~ 150 kHz). The analysis of rodent’s vocalizations represents a valuable tool in the evaluation of diverse animal models of disease, particularly for that in which behaviour is compromised (i.e. affective state, social skills, among others).
An Avisoft Bioacoustics system for the analysis of rodent’s vocalisations is available at ICNAS. It allows the implementation of diverse behavioural studies in rats and mice. The system operates in a frequency range between 2 kHz - 200 kHz, can record with two channels simultaneously, and has a synchronism’s system.
ICNAS has also a playback system (one channel) that allows using recorded vocalizations as a stimulus in diverse rodent tests. This system operates in a frequency range between 1 kHz -120 kHz.
The recordings are conducted inside an acoustic insulation box, built in acrylic and lined with polyurethane foam, with internal dimensions of 55 cm x 70 cm x 50 cm (H x L x D). The box is equipped with a red light, a video camera and temperature control. For tests the rodents are placed into a smaller acrylic box with two compartments that communicate by holes in the central partition plate. The box
dimensions are 35 cm x 50 cm x 35 cm (H x L x D).
Examples of vocalizations from wild type mice are presented bellow.