Performance norms for a rhesus monkey neuropsychological testing battery: Acquisition and long-term performance

Michael Riley Weed, Michael A. Taffe, Ilham Polis, Angela C. Roberts, Trevor W. Robbins, George F. Koob, Floyd E. Bloom, Lisa H. Gold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


A computerized behavioral battery based upon human neuropsychological tests (CANTAB, CeNeS, Cambridge, UK) has been developed to assess cognitive behaviors of rhesus monkeys. Monkeys reliably performed multiple tasks, providing long-term assessment of changes in a number of behaviors for a given animal. The overall goal of the test battery is to characterize changes in cognitive behaviors following central nervous system (CNS) manipulations. The battery addresses memory (delayed non-matching to sample, DNMS; spatial working memory, using a self-ordered spatial search task, SOSS), attention (intra-/extra-dimensional shift, ID/ED), motivation (progressive-ratio, PR), reaction time (RT) and motor coordination (bimanual task). As with human neuropsychological batteries, different tasks are thought to involve different neural substrates, and therefore performance profiles should assess function in particular brain regions. Monkeys were tested in transport cages, and responding on a touch sensitive computer monitor was maintained by food reinforcement. Parametric manipulations of several tasks demonstrated the sensitivity of performance to increases in task difficulty. Furthermore, the factors influencing difficulty for rhesus monkeys were the same as those shown to affect human performance. Data from this study represent performance of a population of healthy normal monkeys that will be used for comparison in subsequent studies of performance following CNS manipulations such as infection with simian immunodeficiency virus (NeuroAIDS) or drug administration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)185-201
Number of pages17
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Oct 25 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Cognition
  • Memory
  • Motor behavior
  • Neuropsychology
  • Rhesus monkey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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