Frequency difference limens and auditory cue trading in CBA/CaJ mice (Mus musculus)

Behav Processes. 2014 Jul;106:74-6. doi: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.04.016. Epub 2014 May 5.


Mice are emerging as an important behavioral model for studies of auditory perception and acoustic communication. These mammals frequently produce ultrasonic vocalizations, although the details of how these vocalizations are used for communication are not entirely understood. An important step in determining how they might be differentiating their calls is to measure discrimination and identification of the dimensions of various acoustic stimuli. Here, behavioral operant conditioning methods were employed to assess frequency difference limens for pure tones. We found that their thresholds were similar to those in other rodents but higher than in humans. We also asked mice, in an identification paradigm, whether they would use frequency or duration differences to classify stimuli varying on those two dimensions. We found that the mice classified the stimuli based on frequency rather than duration.

Keywords: CBA/CaJ mice; Cue trading; Frequency difference limens; Mouse ultrasonic vocalizations; Operant conditioning; Psychoacoustics.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Conditioning, Operant / physiology
  • Cues
  • Differential Threshold
  • Discrimination, Psychological / physiology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred CBA
  • Vocalization, Animal / physiology