Mice emit ultrasonic vocalizations (USV) to transmit socially-relevant information. To detect and classify these USVs, here we describe the development of VocalMat. VocalMat is a software that uses image-processing and differential geometry approaches to detect USVs in audio files, eliminating the need for user-defined parameter tuning. VocalMat also uses computational vision and machine learning methods to classify USVs into distinct categories. In a dataset of >4,000 USVs emitted by mice, VocalMat detected more than >98% of the USVs and accurately classified ≈86% of USVs when considering the most likely label out of 11 different USV types. We then used Diffusion Maps and Manifold Alignment to analyze the probability distribution of USV classification among different experimental groups, providing a robust method to quantify and qualify the vocal repertoire of mice. Thus, VocalMat allows accurate and highly quantitative analysis of USVs, opening the opportunity for detailed and high-throughput analysis of this behavior.
Antonio H. O. Fonseca, Gustavo M. Santana, Sergio Bampi, Marcelo O Dietrich
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