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  • 1.
    Aineslahti, Emmi
    Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Biology.
    Training of spider monkeys in a food-rewarded two-choice olfactory discrimination paradigm and assessment of olfactory learning and memory performance2019Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
    Abstract [en]

    There is little knowledge about olfactory learning in primates, even though primates are known to use olfaction in several behaviors including food selection and territorial defense. Therefore I assessed the olfactory learning and memory performance in five adult spider monkeys (Ateles geoffroyi) using a food-rewarded two-choice olfactory discrimination paradigm. The spider monkeys acquired the initial odor discrimination in 530-1102 trials and in a series of intramodal transfer tasks they needed 30-510 trials to reach the learning criterion. There was a significant negative correlation between the number of trials needed to reach the learning criterion and the number of transfer tasks completed. Thus, as a group, the animals displayed olfactory learning set formation. The number of trials that the spider monkeys needed in initial olfactory learning was comparable to that of other primate species tested previously but higher compared to that of other mammals such as dogs and rats. The learning speed of the spider monkeys in intramodal transfer tasks was similar to that of other mammals tested, suggesting that primates are less prepared to use olfactory cues in the initial solving of a problem but that once they learn the concept, their learning speed with novel odor discrimination problems is not generally slower than that of non-primate mammals. All spider monkeys tested reached the learning criterion in the memory tasks straight on the first testing day, that is: within 30 trials, suggesting similar long-term odor memory capabilities in spider monkeys and other mammals such as dogs, mice and rats.

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