UNIT 8.14 Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rat and Mouse Pups

  1. Myron A. Hofer,
  2. Harry N. Shair,
  3. Susan A. Brunelli

Published Online: 1 FEB 2002

DOI: 10.1002/0471142301.ns0814s17

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

Current Protocols in Neuroscience

How to Cite

Hofer, M. A., Shair, H. N. and Brunelli, S. A. 2002. Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rat and Mouse Pups. Current Protocols in Neuroscience. 17:8.14:8.14.1–8.14.16.

Author Information

  1. Columbia University and Sackler Institute of Developmental Psychobiology and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, New York

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2002
  2. Published Print: OCT 2001


The ultrasonic vocalization (USV), or isolation calling response, of infant rats and mice has been studied as a measure of the intensity of an aversive affective state and as an early communicative behavior between pup and mother. The four protocols described in this unit are for the basic isolation testing procedure, and for elicitation of the contact quieting response to littermates and/or dam, the potentiation of isolation calling response by a prior brief maternal interaction and the predator-induced suppression of USV by the scent of an unfamiliar male. These procedures for the elicitation of USV, and for its regulation by different kinds of social interaction, provides the basis for experimental research on the early development of emotion and communication in an animal model system.