THE TRAINING OF NONHUMAN PRIMATES WITH POLE AND COLLAR FOR CHAIR WORK USING POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
AbstractNonhuman primates are used in laboratory research to advance our knowledge of behavior, disease, aging, memory, cerebral processes and much more. Research with primates may require physical restraint that allows the animal and handlers to safely perform specific tasks. Often, this means temporary restraint in a primate chair. In order to move a NHP between their home cage and a primate chair the pole and collar method is commonly used. A procedure in which a collar, often aluminum, is placed on the monkey and can be attached to a primate pole grasped by the handler. This allows controlled movement of the animal outside of their home cage. The many tactics for pole and collar training involve a varying mix of positive and negative reinforcement. Higher ratios of negative reinforcement than positive reinforcement can mean more stress for both the trainer and the trainee. Our goal was to show that mostly positive reinforcement, with very little negative reinforcement, is effective and timely for training the monkeys to enter the chair. We have broken down this training into 12 key steps. The three rhesus macaques from this study took an average of 28.7 training sessions to be fully chair trained.