Relating ultrasonic vocalizations from a pair of rats to individual behavior: A composite link model approach

Nadia J. Vendrig, Lia Hemerik, Ilona J. Pinter, Cajo J.F. ter Braak*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) are crucial in the social behavior of rats. We aim to relate USV rates of pairs of rats to individual activity in an automated home cage (PhenoTyper®) where USVs are recorded per pair and not per individual. We propose a composite link model approach to parametrize a mechanistic “sum-of-rates” model in which the pair's USV rate is the sum of the USV rates of individuals depending on their own behavior. In generalized linear models (GLMs), the individual's USV rates are multiplied. We verified through simulation that composite link model gave lower Poisson deviance than GLM. We analyzed the data from an experiment in which half of the cages did allow the pairs to interact (Pair Housing) and the other half did not (Individual Housing). The “sum-of-rates” model fits best for Individual Housing and GLM for Pair Housing. An additional simulation study strongly suggests that interaction between rats changes the underlying mechanism for vocalization behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-156
JournalStatistica Neerlandica
Volume73
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • automated home cage
  • composite link model
  • model identification
  • social behavior
  • ultrasonic vocalization

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