An automatic experimental apparatus to study arm reaching in New World monkeys

Allen Yin, Jehi An, Gary Lehew, Mikhail A. Lebedev, Miguel A.L. Nicolelis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Several species of the New World monkeys have been used as experimental models in biomedical and neurophysiological research. However, a method for controlled arm reaching tasks has not been developed for these species. New method: We have developed a fully automated, pneumatically driven, portable, and reconfigurable experimental apparatus for arm-reaching tasks suitable for these small primates. Results: We have utilized the apparatus to train two owl monkeys in a visually-cued arm-reaching task. Analysis of neural recordings demonstrates directional tuning of the M1 neurons. Comparison with existing method(s): Our apparatus allows automated control, freeing the experimenter from manual experiments. Conclusion: The presented apparatus provides a valuable tool for conducting neurophysiological research on New World monkeys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-64
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neuroscience Methods
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Animal model
  • Arm reaching
  • Behavior
  • Experimental control
  • Neural recordings
  • New World monkeys


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