Setting up the RECORDER software for counting and measuring USV’s in real-time

The RECORDER software (version 3.3 or higher) provides an optional tool for counting and measuring USV’s in real-time, which allows getting results without invoking the separate sound analysis software SASLab Pro.

1. Defining the trial duration and the number of channels from the command Options/USV monitoring setup wizard…:

The option ‘run from .wav file’ will execute the analysis procedure on a previously recorded .wav file, which allows to repeat the analysis with different settings. The ‘batch mode’ option supports drug testing procedures on large numbers of animals.

2. Defining the detection & report settings by clicking at the ‘Setup…’ button:

The implemented USV detection algorithm is based on a peak frequency search and frequency modulation evaluation on the spectrographic representation, which enables to detect even very soft whistles that are almost buried in the background noise. For this reason, there should be no other harmonic noise components, such as interferences from other electronic devices (computer screens or switching power adaptors).

The Help… button provides more detailed information on how to set up this feature. The recording device settings Setup… button will launch the configuration dialog box that allows modifying the sample rate and other general settings.

The Start button on the USV Monitoring Setup Wizard panel will finally start the trail (Subsequent trials can also be started from the red start button on main window of the RECORDER application).

In case the ‘batch mode’ option has been activated, the ‘Rat/Mice Batch Processing’ box will be launched and the test can finally be started by clicking at the Start button:

The real-time spectrogram display will indicate the detected vocalizations:

The results of the USV monitoring mechanism will be displayed in a separate window that is updated in real-time:

The Copy button allows exporting the data through the clipboard and then pasting them into another application such as Excel.

See also the blm UltraSoundGate advertizing flyer for applications in rodent USV’s.

For general information on the current research on rat USV see the article Ultrasonic vocalizations in rodents.