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J Comp Psychol. 2002 Mar;116(1):73-82.

Social contacts and production of 50-kHz short ultrasonic calls in adult rats.

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Department of Psychology, Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.


The goal of the study was to provide evidence that the production of 50-kHz calls by adult rats is driven by potential or direct social contacts. The calls have been studied during daily visits to a cage by single or paired rats. Repeated exposure of rats to the cage frequently visited by other rats or direct contact between rats significantly increased the number of 50-kHz calls. The increase in production of 50-kHz calls was reduced by 78% after intrapreoptic-anterior hypothalamic injection of MK-801, an N-methyl-D-aspartate-type glutamate receptor antagonist. Calls emitted in all situations had a similar acoustic profile. It was found that 50-kHz calls were produced in anticipation of, and/or during, direct social contacts among adult rats and were predominantly initiated by olfactory stimuli. The calls seem to express an appetitive behavioral state in which the central glutamatergic mechanism is implicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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