Ultrasonic calling in rodents: A new experimental approach in behavioural toxicology

Vincenzo Cuomo, Maria A. De Salvia, Maria A. Maselli, Leonardo Santo, Raffaele Cagiano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ultrasonic calls are emitted by many species of rodents in a variety of situations. In particular, infants commonly emit such calls when removed from the nest; the rate and intensity of calling are related to the degree of development of homoiothermy. The relevant biological significance of these signals is documented by their capability to promote parental behaviour, such as maternal retrieval. There is recent evidence that ultrasonic vocalization in rodent pups could be valuable as a bioassay in Behavioural Toxicology. In particular, the results of our recent studies together with those of other authors suggest that ultrasonic calls emitted by infant rats could be considered a useful test in detecting subtle effects of adverse treatment during development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-160
Number of pages4
JournalNeurotoxicology and Teratology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1987


  • Developmental Toxicology
  • Rodent pups
  • Ultrasonic calling

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Toxicology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Embryology


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