Non human primates are an extremely precious species to conduct neuroscience research on, especially given the rich array of human-like behavior they perform.
Macaques in the lab perform behavioral tasks in two settings:
In their home-cages (a state of the art system).
Our lab will develop on the existing home cage testing systems develop by Elias Issa (see poster). Home cage behavioral testing are great for the animals and researchers alike. We will strive to develop touch screen based tasks that can be performed by the animals in the cage when they are motivated to do so. Not much personnel support is required to run multiple animals. Therefore this approach leads to high throughput behavioral testing.
In the experimental rigs (often simultaneously with neural measurements)
We perform simultaneous behavioral measurements with state of the art neural recordings and causal perturbation techniques. Monkeys often indicate their choices with eye movements. So we have an eye tracking system in place. Trial by trial measurement of behavioral choices along with neural data allows for the strong test of decoding hypotheses (that link neural responses to behavior).
the mworks project
…design and control software for realtime experiments
…developing innovative hardware and software tools for vision scientists