Investigating fear in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) using the conditioned-suppression paradigm

Trout learned the operant task of pendulum-pressing for a food-reward in a mean of 4.3 sessions lasting 1 hr. In a separate phase, fish also learned–through classical conditioning–to associate a neutral light cue with an aversive stimulus. When again allowed to pendulum-press for food, after aversive classical conditioning, there was a drop in the rate […]

Operant Conditioning of Apes to Facilitate Medical Procedures and Immobilizations

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The use of positive reinforcement training to reduce stereotypic behavior in rhesus macaques

Stereotypic behavior is a pervasive problem for captive monkeys and other animals. Once this behavior pattern has started, it can be difficult to alleviate. We tested whether or not using positive reinforcement training (PRT) can reduce this undesired behavior. Subjects for this study were 11 adult, female rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) with a history of […]

The Use of Positive Reinforcement Training Techniques to Enhance the Care, Management, and Welfare of Primates in the Laboratory

Handled frequently and subjected to a wide range of medical procedures that may be particularly invasive, nonhuman animals in a laboratory setting have unique needs. To produce the most reliable research results and to protect and enhance the well-being of the animals, it is desirable to perform these procedures with as little stress for the […]

The Development of an Operant Conditioning Training Program for New World Primates at the Bronx Zoo

This article describes the development of an operant conditioning training program for 17 species of New World primates at the Bronx Zoo. To apply less invasive techniques to husbandry protocols, the study introduced behaviors-hand feeding, syringe feeding, targeting, scale and crate training, and transponder reading-for formal training to 86 callitrichids and small-bodied cebids housed in […]

Training Nonhuman Primates to Cooperate With Scientific Procedures n Applied Biomedical Research

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 […]

Positive reinforcement training as a technique to alter nonhuman primate behavior: Quantitative assessments of effectiveness

Many suggest that operant conditioning techniques can be applied successfully to improve the behavioral management of nonhuman primates in research settings. However, relatively little empirical data exist to support this claim. This article is a review of several studies that discussed applied positive reinforcement training techniques (PRT) on breeding/research colonies of rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) […]

The use of classical and operant conditioning in training aldabra tortoises (Geochelone gigantea) for venipuncture and other husbandry issues

A variety of nonhuman animals in zoo and research settings have been the subjects of classical and operant conditioning techniques. Much of the published work has focused on mammals, husbandry training, and veterinary issues. However, several zoos are training reptiles and birds for similar procedures, but there has been little of this work published. Using […]

From an animal’s point of view: Motivation, fitness, and animal welfare

Use of positive reinforcement conditioning to monitor pregnancy in an unanesthetized snow leopard (Uncia uncia) via transabdominal ultrasound

Closely monitoring snow leopard (Uncia uncia) fetal developments via transabdominal ultrasound, with minimal stress to the animal, was the goal of this project. The staff at Potter Park Zoo has used the principles of habituation, desensitization, and positive reinforcement to train a female snow leopard (U. uncia). Ultrasound examinations were preformed on an unanesthetized feline […]