Abstract # 2952 Event # 5:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 09:45 AM-09:55 AM: Session 2 (Medallion Ballroom A) Oral Presentation


LASER LIXITTM TRAINING: AN ALTERNATIVE FORM OF TARGET TRAINING THAT CAN BE UTILIZED IN THE DAILY HUSBANDRY CARE OF RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) AND CYNOMOLGUS MACAQUES (MACACA FASCICULARIS)

S. L. Haba Nelsen1,2, D. Bradford1 and P. Houghton1
1Panther Tracks Learning Center, Primate Products, Inc., Immokalee, FL 34142, USA, 2Department of Biological Sciences, Auburn University, Auburn, AL 36849, USA
line
     

Rhesus and cynomolgus macaques are some of the most frequently utilized laboratory nonhuman primates, and it is common for one facility to have a significantly large colony of either or both species. Daily care needs to be efficient and effective, and tasks, such as checking LixitsTM can become time-consuming and cumbersome for staff, as well as intimidating for animals. This can be alleviated by training macaques to be ‘willing workers’. 8 rhesus and 7 cynomolgus macaques at Primate Products, Inc. were trained with operant conditioning techniques to check their LixitTM using a laser pointer as the target. Training sessions began with conditioning to a bridge (i.e., the clicker) by clicking and reinforcing with a treat. This was followed by shining a laser pointer on the side or the back of the cage for the macaque to touch. After the macaque consistently touched the laser point on the cage, the laser point was moved to the LixitTM. Progress was recorded as percent trained of complete behavior for each session, and training sessions were 5 minutes or less per animal. 87.50% of rhesus and 85.71% cynomolgus macaques were trained within a mean of 4 training sessions. This implies that laser target training is a method that could be integrated into a facility’s program to improve efficiency of daily care, as well as be adapted for tasks other than LixitTM checking.