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1- Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran.
2- School of Cognitive Sciences, Institute for Research in Fundamental Sciences, Tehran, Iran.
3- Department of Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Education, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
4- School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
Macaques are often utilized in scientific research because of their genetic and physiological similarities to humans. Training macaques is difficult due to their smart minds, differences between individuals, and complicated social groups. Moreover, conducting research on complex tasks requires extended and time-consuming training periods. To address the challenges of training monkeys, we aimed to create a device to mitigate these difficulties and reduce training duration. We created a cost-effective device using basic equipment such as a touch screen monitor and a personal computer. This portable, remote-controllable device is open-source. It allows for code modifications, and is adaptable for use with other primate species. The Automated Training Device (ATD) was designed to allow animals to participate in training and tasks within their home cage without time constraints. A notable feature of this automated device is its ability to adapt to the individual preferences and abilities of macaques. By offering a range of engaging activities, this device helps primates develop a sense of independence and control over their environment, encouraging self-teaching. In this study, we describe how we created a device to teach primates. We explain the steps involved in training them, starting with basic tasks such as touching the screen and advancing to more complex ones like Delayed Match-to-Sample (DMS) task. It took 30 days for monkey M1 and 33 days for monkey M2 to complete the training, progressing from touching the monitor to learning the DMS. This period is significantly shorter than traditional monkey training outside the cage, making this method a promising alternative.
Type of Study: Original | Subject: Cognitive Neuroscience
Received: 2024/02/28 | Accepted: 2024/04/9

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