Invited Symposium: Neural Mechanism of Mammalian Vocalization


Introduction / Copulation in Mice

Copulation in Rats

Copulation in Other Species

Maternal Behavior

Summary and References


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The Role of Vocalizations in the Regulation of Reproductive Behavior in Rodents

White, NR (Rutgers University, USA)
Matochik, JA (Brain Imaging Center, National Institute on Drug Abuse, USA)
Nyby, JG (Department of Biology, Lehigh University, USA)
Barfield, RJ (Department of Biological Sciences, Rutgers University, USA)

Contact Person: Nicholas R. White (whiten@tcdsb.on.ca)


Members of several rodent species emit vocalizations while engaging in reproductive and maternal behavior. These calls, which are emitted at ultrasonic frequencies in most, but not all, of the studied species, affect the ongoing behavior of conspecifics. For example: -- vocalizations attract conspecifics. Vocalizations of adult mice and hamsters attract potential copulatory partners. Similarly, calls of rodent pups of several species attract maternal females. -- vocalizations regulate behavioral interactions between two or more conspecifics. Rats of both sexes call to pace the sequence of behavioral events occurring prior to intromissions, and to coordinate the behavior of the two partners. Male rats, hamsters, woodrats and possibly mice also emit calls when they intromit which promote receptive behavior in females. -- vocalizations modulate agonistic behavior. Vocalizations by the male mouse during courtship may reduce agonistic behavior in an aggressive female mouse during postpartum estrus. In addition, rat pups emit vocalizations that serve to reduce rough handling by the mother. The role of rodent vocalizations on reproductive behavior will be discussed, with emphasis on the research of the authors. Some additional studies on the endocrine regulation of vocalizations will also be discussed.

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Presentation Number SAwhite0360
Keywords: vocalizations, reproduction, behavior

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White, NR; Matochik, JA; Nyby, JG; Barfield, RJ; (1998). The Role of Vocalizations in the Behavioral Regulation of Reproductive Behavior in Rodents. Presented at INABIS '98 - 5th Internet World Congress on Biomedical Sciences at McMaster University, Canada, Dec 7-16th. Invited Symposium. Available at URL http://www.mcmaster.ca/inabis98/brudzynski/white0360/index.html
© 1998 Author(s) Hold Copyright