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Publication Detail
Improved cortical entrainment to infant communication calls in mothers compared with virgin mice
  • Publication Type:
    Journal article
  • Publication Sub Type:
  • Authors:
    Liu RC, Linden JF, Schreiner CE
  • Publication date:
  • Pagination:
    3087, 3097
  • Journal:
    European Journal of Neuroscience
  • Volume:
  • Issue:
  • Print ISSN:
  • Keywords:
    auditory cortex, mouse, ultrasound, Acoustic Stimulation, Newborn, Behavior, Animal, Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Female, Male, Maternal Behavior, Mice, Inbred CBA, physiology, Recognition (Psychology), Sound Localization, Sound Spectrography, Ultrasonics, Vocalization
  • Addresses:
    W. M. Keck Center for Integrative Neuroscience, University of California at San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue, USA. robert.liu@emory.edu
  • Notes:
    DA - 20060705IS - 0953-816X (Print)LA - engPT - Comparative StudyPT - Journal ArticlePT - Research Support, N.I.H., ExtramuralPT - Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov\'tSB - IM
There is a growing interest in the use of mice as a model system for species-specific communication. In particular, ultrasonic calls emitted by mouse pups communicate distress, and elicit a search and retrieval response from mothers. Behaviorally, mothers prefer and recognize these calls in two-alternative choice tests, in contrast to pup-naive females that do not have experience with pups. Here, we explored whether one particular acoustic feature that defines these calls-- the repetition rate of calls within a bout-- is represented differently in the auditory cortex of these two animal groups. Multiunit recordings in anesthetized CBA/CaJ mice revealed that: (i) neural entrainment to repeated stimuli extended up to the natural pup call repetition rate (5 Hz) in mothers; but (ii) neurons in naive females followed repeated stimuli well only at slower repetition rates; and (iii) entrained responses to repeated pup calls were less sensitive to natural pup call variability in mothers than in pup-naive females. In the broader context, our data suggest that auditory cortical responses to communication sounds are plastic, and that communicative significance is correlated with an improved cortical representation
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