Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Biomedical Engineering

Committee Chair

Amy de Jongh Curry

Committee Member

Robert Waters

Committee Member

Eddie Jacobs


Most amputees experience phantom limb pain (PLP) post-amputation, the mechanisms of which are not fully understood. Rat amputees may serve as a practical model for studying PLP, as rats process pain similarly to primates. Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) of acclimated, formalin-injected rats and acclimated, forelimb-amputated rats were recorded to investigate the potential for measuring USVs as an indicator of a negative affective state. Subcutaneous injections of 10% formalin in the hindpaw elicited increased USV emission, primarily in the 22 kHz-AFR. Unoperated rats and forelimb-amputated rats were monitored for seven weeks following acclimation and surgery. Amputees emitted a greater quantity of 22 kHz-AFR USVs than controls at 4-7 weeks post-amputation and a greater duration at 4-6 weeks; however, there were no differences in weeks 1-3. These differences in USV behavior may indicate a difference in affective state between groups. Further studies of USVs in forelimb-amputated rats should incorporate additional behavioral measures of pain.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.