Abstract # 34:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 17, 2006 09:30 AM-12:00 PM: Session 3 (Regency East #3) Poster Presentation

Ruppenthal Symposium, Gadgets from the Past: Where are they Now? The SELF-SELECTION CIRCUS

S. Ward
University of Washington, Center on Human Development and Disability, and National Primate Research Center, Box 357920, Seattle , WA 98195, USA
     Before the age of computers, the self-selection circus was designed to study preferences for both social and nonsocial stimuli. The automated apparatus consisted of a central chamber adjoined by six outer chambers. During a typical test two opposite outer chambers were opened, exposing the animal to competing stimuli. The number of entries and amount of time an animal spent in each chamber was automatically recorded. Using this apparatus, it was found that monkeys raised by humans with no exposure to conspecifics spent more time in the chamber near the lab attendant, whereas those who had exposure to other monkeys spent more time in the chamber near another monkey. Measurements of approach and avoidance to study preference are still used today although different methods are employed.