Ultrasonic Vocalization Test
Rodent communication includes calls in the ultrasonic range. Mice pups will start emitting ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) shortly after birth. These calls elicit pup retrieval by the dam, maternal licking, and crouching behavior. An experimenter can quantitatively assess social communication in pups by recording and measuring the number, duration, frequency, and amplitude of calls. To record the calls, each pup is placed by itself into a Stryrofoam chamber attached to a microphone. The recordings are later analyzed with an appropriate computer program. The test can be repeated over the course of several days to observe changes in pup communication with age.