Simultaneous recording of ultrasonic vocalizations and sniffing from socially interacting individual rats using a miniature microphone

Shanah Rachel John, Rishika Tiwari, Yizhaq Goussha, Rotem Amar, Alex Bizer, Shai Netser, Shlomo Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Vocalizations are pivotal in mammalian communication, especially in humans. Rodents accordingly rely on ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) that reflect their internal state as a primary channel during social interactions. However, attributing vocalizations to specific individuals remains challenging, impeding internal state assessment. Rats emit 50-kHz USVs to indicate positive states and intensify sniffing during alertness and social interactions. Here, we present a method involving a miniature microphone attached to the rat nasal cavity that allows to capture both male and female individual rat vocalizations and sniffing patterns during social interactions. We found that while the emission of 50-kHz USVs increases during close interactions, these signals lack specific behavioral associations. Moreover, a previously unreported low-frequency vocalization type marking rat social interactions was uncovered. Finally, different dynamics of sniffing and vocalization activities point to distinct underlying internal states. Thus, our method facilitates the exploration of internal states concurrent with social behaviors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100638
JournalCell Reports Methods
Volume3
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - 20 Nov 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Author(s)

Keywords

  • CP: Neuroscience
  • animal communication
  • individual social behavior
  • internal state
  • miniature microphone
  • movement tracking
  • sniffing
  • social interaction
  • ultrasonic vocalizations

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Biotechnology
  • Computer Science Applications

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