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In JoVE (1)
Other Publications (10)
- Behavioural Brain Research
- Parkinsonism & Related Disorders
- The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
- Behavioral Neuroscience
- Behavioural Brain Research
- The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology / Official Scientific Journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP)
- Behavioural Brain Research
- Behavioural Brain Research
- Journal of Communication Disorders
Articles by Sean T. Ma in JoVE
Assessment of Ultrasonic Vocalizations During Drug Self-administration in Rats
Esther Y. Maier1,2, Sean T. Ma3, Allison Ahrens2,4, Timothy J. Schallert2,4,5, Christine L. Duvauchelle1,2,4
1College of Pharmacy, Division of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Texas at Austin, 2The Waggoner Center of Addiction and Alcohol Research, University of Texas at Austin, 3Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, 4Institute for Neuroscience, University of Texas at Austin, 5Department of Psychology, University of Texas at Austin
Drug self-administration and ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) are used as behavioral assessments in animal research, but rarely in combination. The purpose of this article is to describe the advantages of recording USVs during drug self-administration procedures to assess affective responses to drug experience.
Other articles by Sean T. Ma on PubMed
Qualitative Changes in Ultrasonic Vocalization in Rats After Unilateral Dopamine Depletion or Haloperidol: a Preliminary Study
Behavioural Brain Research. Sep, 2007 | Pubmed ID: 17397940
The sensorimotor speech/voice deficits associated with Parkinson disease have been well documented in humans. They are largely resistant to pharmacological and surgical treatment, but respond to intensive speech therapy. The mechanisms underlying this phenomenon are not well understood and are difficult to systematically test in humans. Thus, we turn to the rat as a model. The purpose of this study is to compare the ultrasonic vocalization (USV) of rats in three conditions: control, haloperidol-induced transient dopamine depletion, and unilateral 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) induced moderately-severe degeneration of dopamine neurons. It was hypothesized that both dopamine-altered conditions would lead to a change in the features of the USV acoustic signal. Results demonstrated that bandwidth decreased in the dopamine-altered rats. This is the first study to document a degradation of the acoustic signal of frequency-modulated 50-kHz calls as a result of interfering with dopamine synaptic transmission in rats. The data suggest that mild transient dopamine depletion with haloperidol or even unilateral degeneration of dopamine neurons is associated with changes in the USV acoustic signal. Dopaminergic dysfunction influences USV quality without reducing the number of calls. This study provides a foundation to examine the role of dopamine in sensorimotor processes underlying USV production and potentially to explore treatments for dopamine deficiency-related impaired vocal outcome.
Limb Use and Complex Ultrasonic Vocalization in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease: Deficit-targeted Training
Parkinsonism & Related Disorders. 2008 | Pubmed ID: 18585950
Recent evidence in animal models of Parkinson's disease (PD) suggests that exercise and other forms of motor enhancement can be beneficial when applied during the degeneration of dopamine neurons. Behaviours that depend on adequate levels of striatal dopamine may provide particularly favourable targets for therapeutic motor interventions. Task-specific motor enrichment procedures have been used to improve functional and neural outcomes following unilateral infusions of 6-hydroxydopamine (6-OHDA) into the nigrostriatal pathway in rats. In contrast, forced non-use procedures can exaggerate the degree of degeneration. Limb-use akinesia and ultrasonic vocalization in the 50-kHz range may be useful behavioural indices of nigrostriatal integrity and may model common deficits found in PD. These deficits in movement initiation and fine sensorimotor control are potential targets for early training interventions.
Syllable Acoustics, Temporal Patterns, and Call Composition Vary with Behavioral Context in Mexican Free-tailed Bats
The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. Sep, 2008 | Pubmed ID: 19045674
Recent research has shown that some bat species have rich vocal repertoires with diverse syllable acoustics. Few studies, however, have compared vocalizations across different behavioral contexts or examined the temporal emission patterns of vocalizations. In this paper, a comprehensive examination of the vocal repertoire of Mexican free-tailed bats, T. brasiliensis, is presented. Syllable acoustics and temporal emission patterns for 16 types of vocalizations including courtship song revealed three main findings. First, although in some cases syllables are unique to specific calls, other syllables are shared among different calls. Second, entire calls associated with one behavior can be embedded into more complex vocalizations used in entirely different behavioral contexts. Third, when different calls are composed of similar syllables, distinctive temporal emission patterns may facilitate call recognition. These results indicate that syllable acoustics alone do not likely provide enough information for call recognition; rather, the acoustic context and temporal emission patterns of vocalizations may affect meaning.
Behavioral Neuroscience. Apr, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 19331456
Vocal deficits are prevalent and debilitating in Parkinson's disease. These deficits may be related to the initial pathology of the nigrostriatal dopamine neurons and resulting dopamine depletion, which contributes to dysfunction of fine motor control in multiple functions. Although vocalization in animals and humans may differ in many respects, we evaluated complex (50-kHz) ultrasonic mate calls in 2 rat models of Parkinson's disease, including unilateral infusions of 6-hydroxydopamine to the medial forebrain bundle and peripheral administration of a nonakinesia dose of the dopamine antagonist haloperidol. We examined the effects of these treatments on multiple aspects of the acoustic signal. The number of trill-like (frequency modulated) 50-kHz calls was significantly reduced, and appeared to be replaced by simpler (flat) calls. The bandwidth and maximum intensity of simple and frequency-modulated calls were significantly decreased, but call duration was not. Our findings suggest that the nigrostriatal dopamine pathway is involved to some extent in fine sensorimotor function that includes USV production and complexity.
Repeated Intravenous Amphetamine Exposure: Rapid and Persistent Sensitization of 50-kHz Ultrasonic Trill Calls in Rats
Behavioural Brain Research. Jan, 2009 | Pubmed ID: 18809437
Short 50-kilohertz (kHz) range frequency-modulated ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) produced by rats and mice are unconditionally elicited by drugs of abuse or electrical stimulation that increase dopamine activity in the nucleus accumbens, and it has been suggested that they reflect "positive affect" or incentive motivational states associated with appetitive behavior. The repeated administration of amphetamine is known to not only produce "psychomotor" sensitization, but also to facilitate a number of appetitive behaviors, including conditioned drug pursuit behavior. We were interested, therefore, in whether amphetamine-induced 50-kHz USVs would also increase with repeated drug exposure. USV recordings were made during 5-min sessions immediately after a saline infusion, and again 4-5h later after 1.0mg/kg intravenous amphetamine exposure. These sessions took place every other day over a 5-day period. A challenge dose of 1.0mg/kg amphetamine was administered 2 weeks later to determine whether sensitization would persist. The initial amphetamine infusion increased 50-kHz USVs relative to the saline infusion. This effect was enhanced over trials and during the amphetamine challenge 2 weeks later. Classification of 50-kHz range call types revealed that complex frequency-modulated trill calls were sensitized by amphetamine, but not flat 50-kHz calls. It is possible that 50-kHz USV recordings could provide a potentially valuable behavioral measure of sensitization linked to enhanced incentive salience and increased tendency to self-administer drugs of abuse.
Influence of Acute Caffeine on 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Male Adult Rats and Relevance to Caffeine-mediated Psychopharmacological Effects
The International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology / Official Scientific Journal of the Collegium Internationale Neuropsychopharmacologicum (CINP). Feb, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 19545474
To further characterize caffeine-mediated psychopharmacological effects, the present study investigated whether acute caffeine (3, 10, 30, 50 mg/kg i.p.) exerted any influence on the emission and features of ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs), which are thought to index changes involving emotional state, in male adult rats. The results obtained demonstrate that caffeine can trigger modifications in the maximum peak frequency and bandwidth of the 50-kHz range USVs. However, such an effect was not accompanied by a significant elevation in the number of 50-kHz USVs, relative to administration of vehicle. Under the same experimental conditions, acute amphetamine (2 mg/kg i.p.) robustly elevated the number of 50-kHz USVs emitted by rats, although it did not affect the maximum peak frequency and bandwidth of USVs. Thus, both qualitative and quantitative differences in the effects exerted by caffeine and amphetamine on 50-kHz USVs were observed. Taken together, these findings further clarify the features of caffeine-mediated psychopharmacological effects, and may help to elucidate the differences between the central effects of caffeine and those elicited by other psychostimulants.
Repeated Intravenous Cocaine Experience: Development and Escalation of Pre-drug Anticipatory 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rats
Behavioural Brain Research. Sep, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20382187
Ultrasonic vocalization (USV) in the 50-kHz range occurs in rats immediately upon first-time exposure to cocaine or amphetamine, and rapidly increases with repetitive drug exposure at the same dose. This sensitized positive-affect response to these drugs of abuse is persistent in that the peak level of USVs again appears when the drug is reintroduced after several weeks of drug discontinuation. The present study explored whether with enough experience USVs might be elicited, and gradually escalate, in anticipation of impending drug delivery. Rats were trained to self-administer (SA) cocaine intravenously by lever pressing 5 days per week for 4 weeks. Yoked rats received experimenter-delivered cocaine matching that of SA rats. USVs and locomotor activity were recorded during each 10-min period prior to 60-min drug access sessions. Extinction trials in which drug access was denied were then carried out over an additional 4-week period. After about a week of cocaine experience, both the SA and yoked groups began to progressively increase USVs when placed in an environment that predicted forthcoming drug exposure. Extinction of anticipatory calls and locomotion occurred over days after drug access ended. USVs may be a useful model for specifically investigating the neural basis of drug anticipation and aid in developing and assessing new addiction treatment strategies for reducing craving and relapse.
Cocaine Deprivation Effect: Cue Abstinence over Weekends Boosts Anticipatory 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rats
Behavioural Brain Research. Dec, 2010 | Pubmed ID: 20470830
In drug dependence studies, rats are often tested daily with short breaks (such as weekends) spent untested in their home cages. Research on alcohol models has suggested that breaks from continuous testing can transiently enhance self-administration (termed the "alcohol deprivation effect"). The present study explored whether the salience of cocaine-access cues is increased after skipping weekend cocaine and cue exposures. Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of the 50-kHz class are emitted by rats exposed to intravenous cocaine and have been shown to increase with repeated drug exposure at the same dose level (sensitization). The present study found that over the course of several weeks of cocaine self- or yoked-administration pre-drug cues signaling forthcoming access or delivery of cocaine elicited marked amounts of anticipatory 50-kHz USVs, and that weekend deprivation from cues and cocaine exaggerated further the level of calling (more calls on Mondays compared to Fridays). Anticipatory USVs extinguished less rapidly when weekend access to unreinforced cues was denied. The results may have clinical implications, in that intermittently avoiding cues or context may enhance drug cue salience and resistance to extinction.
Assessing the Role of Dopamine in Limb and Cranial-oromotor Control in a Rat Model of Parkinson's Disease
Journal of Communication Disorders. Sep-Oct, 2011 | Pubmed ID: 21820129
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder primarily characterized by sensorimotor dysfunction. The neuropathology of PD includes a loss of dopamine (DA) neurons of the nigrostriatal pathway. Classic signs of the disease include rigidity, bradykinesia, and postural instability. However, as many as 90% of patients also experience significant deficits in speech, swallowing (including mastication), and respiratory control. Oromotor deficits such as these are underappreciated, frequently emerging during the early, often hemi-Parkinson, stage of the disease. In this paper, we review tests commonly used in our labs to model early and hemi-Parkinson deficits in rodents. We have recently expanded our tests to include sensitive models of oromotor deficits. This paper discusses the most commonly used tests in our lab to model both limb and oromotor deficits, including tests of forelimb-use asymmetry, postural instability, vibrissae-evoked forelimb placing, single limb akinesia, dry pasta handling, sunflower seed shelling, and acoustic analyses of ultrasonic vocalizations and pasta biting strength. In particular, we lay new groundwork for developing methods for measuring abnormalities in the acoustic patterns during eating that indicate decreased biting strength and irregular intervals between bites in the hemi-Parkinson rat. Similar to limb motor deficits, oromotor deficits, at least to some degree, appear to be modulated by nigrostriatal DA. Finally, we briefly review the literature on targeted motor rehabilitation effects in PD models. LEARNING OUTCOMES: Readers will: (a) understand how a unilateral lesion to the nigrostriatal pathway affects limb use, (b) understand how a unilateral lesion to the nigrostriatal pathway affects oromotor function, and (c) gain an understanding of how limb motor deficits and oromotor deficits appear to involve dopamine and are modulated by training.
A Cocaine Cue is More Preferred and Evokes More Frequency-modulated 50-kHz Ultrasonic Vocalizations in Rats Prone to Attribute Incentive Salience to a Food Cue
Psychopharmacology. Feb, 2012 | Pubmed ID: 21833503
Individuals vary considerably in the extent to which they attribute incentive salience to food-associated cues.