Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

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Stop Animal Exploitation NOW!
S. A. E. N.
"Exposing the truth to wipe out animal experimentation"

Government Grants Promoting Cruelty to Animals

Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

YALE E. COHEN - Primate Testing - 2005

Grant Number: 1R03MH069881-01A2
Project Title: Ethological Categorization and the Prefrontal Cortex
PI Information: PROFESSOR YALE E. COHEN, [email protected] 

Abstract: DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): Communication is 1 of the fundamental components of both human and non-human animal behavior. While the benefits and importance of language in human evolution are obvious, other non-human communication systems are also important. These communication systems are important, because for most, if not all, species, they are critical to the species' survival. For example, auditory communication signals (i.e., species-specific vocalizations, SSVs) play a fundamental role in the socioecology of several species of non-human primates, such as rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta). While neurophysiological experiments examining the representation of SSVs in the non-human primate cortex have a long and rich history, there have not been any studies, to date, that have tested how neurons code the abstract qualities of SSVs. This grant proposal examines this important issue by testing how neurons in the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex (vPFC) code the information conveyed by SSVs. The experiments in this grant proposal test the following general hypothesis: vPFC neurons are preferentially modulated by the information conveyed by SSVs and not by their spectrotemporal properties. In EXPERIMENT #1A, we test whether vPFC neurons code the information conveyed by SSVs in superordinate (e.g., food versus nonfood) or subordinate (high-quality food or low-quality food) categories. In EXPERIMENT #1B, we test the hypothesis that vPFC neurons respond to transitions between SSVs based on presentation context and the information conveyed by the SSVs. Together, these studies will provide a more comprehensive understanding of the role that the vPFC has in representing the information conveyed by the SSVs and the role of the PFC, in general, in the representing information in category-dependent formats.

Thesaurus Terms:
animal communication behavior, neural information processing, prefrontal lobe /cortex, vocalization
Macaca mulatta, behavioral /social science research tag

Office of Sponsored Projects
Fiscal Year: 2005
Project Start: 15-APR-2005
Project End: 31-MAR-2007

Selectivity for the Spatial and Nonspatial Attributes of Auditory Stimuli in the Ventrolateral Prefrontal Cortex

Yale E. Cohen,1,2 Brian E. Russ,1 Gordon W. Gifford, III,1 Ruwan Kiringoda,1 and Katherine A. MacLean1

1Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and 2Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755

Two female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) were used in these experiments. Both monkeys (weighing between 8.0 and 9.0 kg) were trained on both of the tasks described in this study. All surgical, recording, and training sessions were in accordance with the National Institutes of Health Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals and were approved by the Dartmouth Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee.

Surgical procedures
Surgical procedures were conducted under aseptic, sterile conditions using general anesthesia (isoflurane). These procedures were performed in a dedicated surgical suite operated by the Animal Resource Center at Dartmouth College.
In the first procedure, titanium bone screws were implanted in the skull, and a methyl methacrylate implant was constructed. A Teflon-insulated, 50 gauge, stainless-steel wire coil was also implanted between the conjunctiva and the sclera; the wire coil allowed us to monitor the monkey's eye position (Judge et al., 1980 ). Finally, a head-positioning cylinder (FHC-S2; Crist Instruments, Hagerstown, MD) was embedded in the implant. This cylinder connected to a primate chair and stabilized the monkey's head during behavioral training and recording sessions.
After the monkeys learned the behavioral tasks (see below), a craniotomy was performed, and a recording cylinder (ICO-J20; Crist Instruments) was implanted. This surgical procedure provided chronic access to the vPFC for neurophysiological recordings.

Experimental setup
Behavioral training and recording sessions were conducted in a darkened room with sound-attenuating walls. The walls and floor of the room were covered with anechoic foam insulation (Sonomatt; Auralex, Indianapolis, IN). When inside the room, the monkeys were seated in the primate chair and placed in front of a stimulus array; because the room was darkened, the speakers producing the auditory stimuli were not visible to the monkeys. The primate chair was placed in the center of a 1.2 m diameter, two-dimensional, magnetic coil (CNC Engineering, Seattle, WA) that was part of the eye position-monitoring system (Judge et al., 1980 ). Eye position was sampled with an analog-to-digital converter (PXI-6052E; National Instruments, Austin, TX) at a rate of 1.0 kHz. The monkeys were monitored during all sessions with an infrared camera

Please email:  YALE E. COHEN, [email protected]  to protest the inhumane use of animals in this experiment. We would also love to know about your efforts with this cause: [email protected]

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Rats, mice, birds, amphibians and other animals have been excluded from coverage by the Animal Welfare Act. Therefore research facility reports do not include these animals. As a result of this situation, a blank report, or one with few animals listed, does not mean that a facility has not performed experiments on non-reportable animals. A blank form does mean that the facility in question has not used covered animals (primates, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, pigs, sheep, goats, etc.). Rats and mice alone are believed to comprise over 90% of the animals used in experimentation. Therefore the majority of animals used at research facilities are not even counted.

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