Abstract # 49:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 21, 2007 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 7 (South Main Hall) Poster Presentation

Behavioral Responses by Singly-housed Adult Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta) during Human Interaction and Positive Reinforcement Training

M. A. Maloney1, K. C. Baker1, C. Griffis2, K. Neu2, M. Bloomsmith2 and M. Martinez3
1Tulane National Primate Research Center, 18703 Three Rivers Rd., Covington, LA 70433, USA, 2Yerkes National Primate Research Center, 3The University of Texas, Section of Neurobiology
     Characterizing the behavior of rhesus macaques during positive reinforcement training (PRT) and human interaction (HI) sessions is relevant to employee safety and the ability to predict training success. The presence or absence of responses to the trainer/interactor (e.g. abnormal, affiliation, aggression, fear) and response to training commands were recorded during 2,050 3-minute sessions among 26 male and 30 female subjects. Two 8-week phases of six minutes/week of PRT or HI were presented in counterbalanced order. Repeated measures ANOVA and subsequent post-hoc tests [a=0.05] showed that among females, the first four weeks of the training phase (adjustment period) involved significantly less aggression and fear than the remainder of the phase. Males initially showed significantly more abnormal behavior during HI than PRT; this effect was lost over time. In both sexes, significantly more PRT than HI sessions included affiliative, fearful, and aggressive behavior, after the adjustment period. Males complied with significantly more commands, and overall learned significantly more basic husbandry command types than females. Rearing (naturalistic, mother-only, nursery/peer, and nursery/isolate) only had a significant influence on abnormal behavior but not other responses or training progress. Subjects with a history of self-injurious behavior learned significantly more commands than individuals not displaying this pathology. Trainers should expect agonistic responses to increase throughout the training process and should not exclude possible training candidates on the bases of rearing background or observed self-injurious behavior.