Positive reinforcement training (PRT) techniques enhance the psychological well being of nonhuman primates by increasing the animal's control over his or her environment and desensitizing the animal to stressful stimuli. However, the literature on PRT in neotropical primates is limited. Here PRT data from owl monkeys and squirrel monkeys are presented, including the length of time to train subjects to target, present hand, and present foot, important responses that can be used to aid in health inspection and treatment. A high percentage of the squirrel and owl monkeys were successfully trained on target and present hand. Present foot, a less natural response, was harder to train and maintain. Although squirrel monkeys did learn to target significantly faster than owl monkeys, the 2 genera did not differ on time to train on subsequent behavior. These data demonstrate that although owl monkeys may require slightly more time to acclimate to a PRT program, it is still possible to establish a PRT program with neotropical primates, and once animals have been introduced to the program, they can learn new responses in a relatively few short sessions.
|Publication Title||Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science|
|Publisher||Taylor & Francis|
|Author Address||Department of Veterinary Sciences, Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and Research, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, 650 Cool Water Drive, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA.firstname.lastname@example.org|
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