Mafalda Valente and colleagues have developed Ratphones, a tool that can be used to deliver precise auditory stimuli to freely moving rats. Ratphones are a miniature set of headphones that allow experimenters high control over sound presentation in order to characterize neural and behavioral correlates of auditory processing, which was previously only possible when animals were anesthetized or head-restrained. The headphones include a small base that is implanted into the skull, and the rest of the structure can be adjusted and easily attached to the base using magnets such that the speakers are held in the appropriate position with respect to the ears. Files to 3D print the various parts of the structure can be found on GitHub. The headphones can be controlled independently of one another to deliver sound to each ear, and the speakers can be used for high frequencies as well as pure tones and narrowband nose, making Ratphones applicable for a variety of experiments that require controlled sound presentation.
This research tool was created by your colleagues. Please acknowledge the Principal Investigator, cite the article in which the tool was described, and include an RRID in the Materials and Methods of your future publications. RRID:SCR_023667
Access the design and code from GitHub!
Check out the repository on GitHub.