Quantitative Approach to Analyzing Acoustic Communication Behavior in the House Mouse Open Access

Oishi, Tatsuya (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/f4752h423?locale=en
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Abstract

A key question in audition concerns abilities and mechanisms underlying how
organisms recognize, detect and discriminate communication vocalizations. The mouse
has become a useful tool for investigating this, both at the behavioral and neural levels.
One particular communication context in the mouse has proven particularly valuable for
this: lost mouse pups call for help to their mother using ultrasonic vocalizations known as
isolation calls. Upon hearing these, mothers search out and retrieve the pups. Previous
behavioral research has demonstrated that 1) mothers preferentially approach sounds with
similar frequency, bandwidth and duration to pup isolation calls, and 2) mothers show
equal approach between any two sounds that are pup-like in these acoustic dimensions.
However, whether this truly implies that mothers cannot discriminate between natural
calls of different pups is the subject of the current work. We examined whether aspects
of a mother's locomotor behavior may indicate both the detection as well as
discrimination of pup calls, when those calls are taken from a conspecific versus a
foreign mouse strain. We tested c57bl/6J-strain mouse mothers in a two-alternative
choice maze, using automated video tracking of the animal to assess their behavior,
playing back both c57bl/6J (conspecific) and CBA/CaJ vocalizations; another group of
mothers presented with silence served as controls for call detection. Our results suggest
that the amount of time and distance travelled per approach best indicated the mother's
detection and discrimination abilities. This study provides the first evidence that mouse
mothers can display behaviors suggestive of discrimination between two natural types of
isolation calls.

Table of Contents


Table of Contents

Introduction…………………………………………………………………..…………....1
Methods…………………………………………………………………………...……….6
Results………………………………………………………………………….………...10
Discussion……………………………………………………………………..………....15
Table 1…………………………………………………………………………………...25
Figure 1…………………………………………………………………………………..26
Figure 2…………………………………………………………………………………..27
Figure 3…………………………………………………………………………………..28
Figure 4…………………………………………………………………………………..29
Figure 5……………………………………………………………………………...…...30
Figure 6…………………………………………………………………………………..31
Figure 7………………...……………………………………………………………..….32
Figure 8………………...………………………………………………………………...33
References.………...…………………………………………………………...………...34






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