WAV-file Automated Analysis of Vocalizations Environment-Specific (WAAVES)

Computing & Wireless : Application Software

Available for licensing


  • Christine Duvauchelle , Pharmacy
  • James Reno, II, B.A. , Psychology
  • Bryan Marker , Computer Science
  • Lawrence Cormack, Ph.D. , Psychology
  • Timothy Schallert , University of Texas at Austin

Background/unmet need

Human emotion is a crucial component of drug abuse and addiction. Ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) emitted by rodents are a highly translational animal model of emotion in drug abuse studies. A major roadblock to comprehensive use of USV data is the overwhelming burden to attain accurate USV assessment in a timely manner. One of the most accurate methods of analyzing USVs, human auditory detection with simultaneous spectrogram inspection, requires USV sound files to be played back at 4% normal speed.

Invention Description

WAAVES (WAV-file Automated Analysis of Vocalizations Environment Specific) is an automated USV assessment program utilizing the Signal and Image Processing Toolboxes created by MATLAB, in conjunction with a series of customized filters to separate USV calls from background noise, and accurately tabulate and categorize USVs as flat or frequency-modulated (FM) calls.


  • Time required to analyze sound files through WAAVES takes 0.4% of the time required by manual analysis.
  • Analysis is complete with USV characteristics.


  • Reads WAV files
  • Creates spectrograms
  • Identifies sound elements
  • Ultrasonic vocalizations are separated from other noises created by the animal interacting with the environment.

Market potential/applications

Microphone manufacturers, Avisoft, MedPC, etc.

Development Stage

Beta product/commercial prototype