Training nonhuman primates to cooperate with scientific procedures in applied biomedical research

Leah Scott, Peter Pearce, Sarah Fairhall, Neil Muggleton, Jeremy Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


This report provides a brief overview of aspects of training nonhuman primates who have been, and continue to be, used in this laboratory. The research context involves applied behavioral studies in which animals are trained to perform complex operant behavioral sequences, often in their homecage environment. In such studies, animals have freedom to choose whether to engage in appetitively reinforced behavioral tests that employ neither food deprivation nor fluid management. This background of operant conditioning has provided an insight to, and a context for, animal training both as an adjunct to general laboratory management and as a way to expedite scientific procedures. Thus, training has potential implications for both well-being and scientific quality, although it must be considered an adjunct to the provision of socialization with conspecifics in high quality diverse housing systems and not as an alternative to such provision. The importance of discussion and consideration of alternative procedures cannot be overemphasized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-207
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Applied Animal Welfare Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003


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