Abstract # 144:

Scheduled for Sunday, August 27, 2017 09:45 AM-10:00 AM: (National Ballroom Salon B) Oral Presentation


RESPONSE SPEED ON A SIMPLE TOUCHSCREEN TASK AS A WELFARE INDICATOR: A STUDY OF ZOO-HOUSED JAPANESE MACAQUES

K. A. Cronin1, E. J. Bethell2, S. L. Jacobson1 and S. R. Ross1
1Lincoln Park Zoo, Lester E. Fisher Center for the Study and Conservation of Apes, Chicago, Illinois 60614, USA, 2Liverpool John Moores University
line
     

Judgement-bias tasks designed to measure mood in animals have gained attention as a potential promising welfare measure, yet they typically require extensive training. Therefore, simpler analogues are required. At Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago, we tested four Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) who previously failed to meet training criteria on a traditional judgement-bias task with a simplified ‘response slowing’ paradigm. This paradigm relied on latencies to touch potentially threatening (conspecific face with directed gaze) and non-threatening (conspecific face with averted gaze) images, relative to control images (grey squares) presented on a touchscreen. Participation was voluntary and took place in touchscreen booths integrated into their zoo habitat. Monkeys were tested in two conditions: during a baseline (non-stressful) period and during three days of a putatively stressful public event during which loud jets frequently flew overhead. Results indicated a significant effect of condition, with an increase in latency to touch images of conspecific faces relative to control images during the stressful time period (GLMM full-null model comparison, χ2 = 16.86, p < 0.001). These findings suggest that emotional states may be revealed through response latencies in a simple touchscreen task that does not involve extensive training.