Performance of juvenile baboons on neuropsychological tests assessing associative learning, motivation and attention

Nicole R. Zürcher, Jesse S. Rodriguez, Sue L. Jenkins, Kate Keenan, Thad Q. Bartlett, Thomas J. McDonald, Peter W. Nathanielsz, Mark J. Nijland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

The CANTAB (Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery), a system developed for human neuropsychological testing, has previously been used to assess cognitive function in two species of nonhuman primates, common marmoset monkeys and rhesus macaques. We describe the application of the system to the juvenile baboon, a nonhuman primate species offering specific investigative advantages. Juvenile baboons were trained and tested on a progressive ratio task to assess motivation, simple discrimination and simple reversal tasks to assess associative learning, and intra- and extra-dimensional set-shifting tasks to assess selective attention and attentional set-shifting, respectively. Study subjects were 8 juvenile baboons (Papio sp.), 4 females and 4 males aged 3.0 ± 0.1 (mean + SEM) years and weight 8.2 ± 0.4 kg. All baboons were easily trained, readily learned the neuropsychological tests and exhibited a stable performance. Applying a method such as the CANTAB has significant implications for expanding on the translational utility of the baboon in studies of neurodevelopment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)219-225
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Volume188
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Keywords

  • Attention
  • Learning
  • Memory
  • Operant conditioning
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Set-shifting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)

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