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Extending WAAVES+: An animal and environment-agnostic, automated USV scoring platform for high-throughput social, behavioral, and neuropharmacological studies

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R41MH121119-01
Agency Tracking Number: R41MH121119
Amount: $453,901.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 101
Solicitation Number: PA18-579
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-08-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-07-31
Small Business Information
2750 INDIAN RIPPLE RD, Dayton, OH, 45440-3638
DUNS: 130020209
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 RYAN SNYDER
 (937) 320-1877
 snyderrd@crgrp.com
Business Contact
 CHRISTOPHER HEMMELGARN
Phone: (937) 320-1877
Email: hemmelgarncd@crgrp.com
Research Institution
 UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS, AUSTIN
 3925 WEST BRAKER LANE, SUITE 3.340
AUSTIN, TX, 78759-5316
 Nonprofit college or university
Abstract
Project SummaryUltrasonic vocalizationsUSVsare known to reflect emotional processingbrain neurochemistry and brain functionkey observations in animal model studiesCollecting and processing USV data is time intensivemanualand costlyMost importantlyit limits researchersability to employ fully effectiveand nuanced experimental designsand is a barrier to entry for other researchersAutomated tabulation of rodent vocalization data would reduce cost and enable researchers to fully explore mechanisms through multi hourmulti session studiesAddressing this limitation will enhance the efficiency of research and could accelerate new mental health advancementsOur overall goal is to serve a community wide need for superiorautomated USV scoringalleviating the manual burden of USV analyses while facilitating and enhancing rodentand mouse based emotional processing researchOur specific objectives are toadevelop an environment agnosticautomated USV scoring tool that worksout of the boxwithout extensive tailoring or environment specific training setsbautomate call classification and expand the parameterization of acoustic properties to provide researchers with additional data for investigating significant and behaviorally relevant outcomesThis work will eliminate the cost and time barrier associated with USV based research while simultaneously expanding the quantity of relevant dataWe conservatively estimate an annual cost savings in the $Ksif not $ MsThis work will form the foundation of a product that will enhance research throughputreduce treatment development time and costand allow researchers to design and implement more complex experimental designs accelerating advancements addressing mental health disorders Project NarrativeUltrasonic vocalizationsUSVsare known to reflect emotional processingbrain neurochemistry and brain functionkey observations in animal model studieshowevercollecting and processing USV data is time intensivemanualand costlyOur overall goal is to serve a community wide need for superiorautomated USV scoringalleviating the manual burden of USV analyses while facilitating and enhancing rodentand mouse based emotional processing research for cost effectivehigh throughput socialbehavioraland neuropharmacological studies impacting wide ranging research including mental health

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