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Training success in group-housed long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) is better explained by personality than by social rank

By Eva-Marie Wergård, Karolina Westlund, Mats Spångberg, Helene Fredlund, Björn Forkman

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Abstract

Using training to prepare laboratory animals for biomedical research is one important behavior management task. With increased knowledge about factors influencing training success, training programs may be optimized, resulting in a refinement of primate husbandry. Even when animals are trained under the same conditions there are individual differences in how they respond to training. The current paper focuses on two of the factors potentially influencing training success: social rank and personality. Five observers rated the personality and the social rank of 34 long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis) in an observer trait rating survey. Training success was measured in 22 of these individuals and from four of their shaping protocols; hand-feeding, target training, presenting hands and presenting feet. From the factor analysis four personality traits could be identified: ‘Emotionality’, ‘Activity’, ‘Sociability’, and ‘Tolerance’. A Multiple linear regressions with backward elimination showed that the personality trait ‘Activity’ was associated with training success (adj.R2=0.71, p

Publication Title Applied Animal Behaviour Science
Volume 177
Pages 52-58
ISBN/ISSN 0168-1591
DOI 10.1016/j.applanim.2016.01.017
Language English
Additional Language English
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Tags
  1. Macaques
  2. Personality
  3. Primates
  4. ranking
  5. refinement
  6. training