Abstract # 197:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


USE OF A TABLET AS ENRICHMENT FOR ADULT RHESUS MACAQUES

J. R. O'Connor, A. Heagerty, M. Herrera, L. A. Houser and K. Coleman
Oregon National Primate Research Center, 505 NW 185th Ave, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA
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     Finding primate enrichment that is not food-based is challenging, but tablet technology offers a versatile and engaging option. We tested the use of Kindle Fire tablets as enrichment for 12 male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). We acclimated monkeys to the tablet for 3 days before providing them three different apps; one passive (a colorful screen saver-like app) and two interactive apps (one in which brightly colored balloons ‘popped’ when touched, and one that allowed monkeys to ‘paint’ on the touchscreen). Each app was presented to monkeys for three 30-minute sessions, which were videotaped. We utilized GLMMs to analyze the amount of time spent touching and closely inspecting the tablet. As expected, animals tended to spend more time touching and inspecting the tablet when presented with interactive compared to passive apps (B=-1.28, p<0.01). They were most likely to use the balloon app (B=2.15, p<0.01), although their interest in this app diminished over time (B=-0.49, p<0.01). There was a great deal of individual variation in tablet use. Animals labeled as inhibited on temperament tests (n=3) did not touch the tablet with any of the apps. Tablets such as the Kindle are likely good enrichment items for caged macaques, although they may be of more value to some individuals than others. Further, apps that are interactive, as opposed to passive, may provide a better enrichment option.