Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version



Swalve, N., Mulholland, M. M., & Li, M. (2019). Alterations of acoustic features of 50 kHz vocalizations by nicotine and phencyclidine in rats. Behavioural Pharmacology 30:446–451.

doi: 10.1097/FBP.0000000000000463


Copyright © 2019 Wolters Kluwer Health, Used by permission.


Ultrasonic vocalizations are widely used to examine affective states in rats, yet relatively few studies explore the acoustic features of vocalizations, especially in relation to drug exposure, and no studies have explored alterations in acoustic features over time. The goal of this study was to examine nicotine- and phencyclidine-induced alterations of bandwidth, duration, and frequency of 50 kHz vocalizations. The minimum and maximum frequency, bandwidth, and duration of calls were examined after 7 days of daily subcutaneous administration of phencyclidine (2.0 mg/kg) and nicotine (0.2 and 0.4 mg/kg) in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Bandwidth was significantly decreased in rats treated with both nicotine (0.2 and 0.4 mg/kg) and phencyclidine. Maximum frequency was lowest on the first day of exposure compared with all other days and was not altered by drug exposure. Call duration was not affected by time or drug exposure. These findings suggest the importance of studying alterations in acoustic features in time, especially those induced by drug exposure.

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