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Male mice song syntax depends on social contexts and influences female preferences.

dc.contributor.author Chabout, J
dc.contributor.author Dunson, David B
dc.contributor.author Jarvis, Erich David
dc.contributor.author Sarkar, Abhra
dc.coverage.spatial Switzerland
dc.date.accessioned 2015-04-01T15:07:45Z
dc.date.issued 2015
dc.identifier http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25883559
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10161/9544
dc.description.abstract In 2005, Holy and Guo advanced the idea that male mice produce ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) with some features similar to courtship songs of songbirds. Since then, studies showed that male mice emit USV songs in different contexts (sexual and other) and possess a multisyllabic repertoire. Debate still exists for and against plasticity in their vocalizations. But the use of a multisyllabic repertoire can increase potential flexibility and information, in how elements are organized and recombined, namely syntax. In many bird species, modulating song syntax has ethological relevance for sexual behavior and mate preferences. In this study we exposed adult male mice to different social contexts and developed a new approach of analyzing their USVs based on songbird syntax analysis. We found that male mice modify their syntax, including specific sequences, length of sequence, repertoire composition, and spectral features, according to stimulus and social context. Males emit longer and simpler syllables and sequences when singing to females, but more complex syllables and sequences in response to fresh female urine. Playback experiments show that the females prefer the complex songs over the simpler ones. We propose the complex songs are to lure females in, whereas the directed simpler sequences are used for direct courtship. These results suggest that although mice have a much more limited ability of song modification, they could still be used as animal models for understanding some vocal communication features that songbirds are used for.
dc.language eng
dc.relation.ispartof Front Behav Neurosci
dc.relation.isversionof 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00076
dc.subject Ultrasonic Vocalizations (USVs)
dc.subject playback
dc.subject social contexts
dc.subject song syntax
dc.subject vocal communication
dc.title Male mice song syntax depends on social contexts and influences female preferences.
dc.type Journal article
pubs.author-url http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25883559
pubs.begin-page 76
pubs.organisational-group Basic Science Departments
pubs.organisational-group Duke
pubs.organisational-group Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
pubs.organisational-group Electrical and Computer Engineering
pubs.organisational-group Institutes and Provost's Academic Units
pubs.organisational-group Mathematics
pubs.organisational-group Neurobiology
pubs.organisational-group Pratt School of Engineering
pubs.organisational-group School of Medicine
pubs.organisational-group Statistical Science
pubs.organisational-group Trinity College of Arts & Sciences
pubs.organisational-group University Institutes and Centers
pubs.publication-status Published online
pubs.volume 9


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