Abstract # 195:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 20, 2005 09:00 AM-09:15 AM: Session 14 (Mayfair Room) Oral Presentation

Anticipatory behaviour - a new indicator of the significance of environmental enrichment in laboratory-housed common marmosets

I. Badihi and H. M. Buchanan-Smith
University of Stirling, Stirling, Scotland FK9 4LA
     Assessing the value of enrichment is important to ensure that it is effective. Previous research with rats has shown that anticipatory behavior is a good indicator of forthcoming enrichment. This study examined the use of anticipatory behavior as a tool to assess the rewarding properties of environmental enrichment in laboratory-housed common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus). We studied six pairs in each of three conditions (positive, neutral and negative). In the first stage (Baseline) monkeys were observed six times for 2min, using instantaneous sampling. In the second stage (Anticipation) a Pavlovian conditioning schedule was applied to announce an oncoming stimulus, and following four training sessions the subjects were observed during the 2min interval between the conditioned and unconditioned stimulus. The positive unconditioned stimulus was marshmallow, a favored food treat; the neutral stimulus was commercial monkey chow, and the negative stimulus was a two second puff of air from a hair-dryer. The difference between Anticipation and Baseline behaviors were calculated for each pair. A statistical comparison of these differences showed that the monkeys increased agitated locomotion, time clinging to the front of the cage (P < 0.001) and watching the observer (P < 0.005) more in the positive condition compared with the neutral and negative conditions. They also decreased calm locomotion and inactivity more (P < 0.001). These findings indicate that anticipatory behavior is a useful method for assessing the value of environmental enrichment for monkeys.