Swim stress-induced ultrasonic vocalizations forecast resilience in rats.

Academic Article


  • Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) have been observed in a number of rodent species. They occur under a variety of conditions, including aversive and stressful experiences. In the current study, we recorded USVs emitted by rats exposed to intermittent cold water swim (ICWS) stress and subsequently evaluated their performance in an instrumental swim escape test (SET). In the SET, rats exposed to ICWS fall into two categories, resilient or vulnerable, based on good or poor learning, respectively. Four of 16 rats exposed to ICWS emitted far more USVs during the stress procedure than the remaining 12. Interestingly, in the SET these USV-emitting rats appeared resilient with escape performance comparable to controls while on average the non-emitting rats failed to learn. This result demonstrates that USVs can serve as a predictor of stress resilience. USV screening during stress may serve as a novel and non-invasive strategy to predict subsequent stress reactivity and afford insight into the neural systems involved in resilience.
  • Authors

  • Drugan, Robert C
  • Christianson, John P
  • Stine, William
  • Soucy, David P
  • Status

    Publication Date

  • August 24, 2009
  • Published In


  • Analysis of Variance
  • Animals
  • Avoidance Learning
  • Cold Temperature
  • Escape Reaction
  • Male
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Reaction Time
  • Stress, Psychological
  • Swimming
  • Ultrasonics
  • Vocalization, Animal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 19447291
  • Start Page

  • 142
  • End Page

  • 145
  • Volume

  • 202
  • Issue

  • 1