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Neurotoxicol Teratol. 1990 Sep-Oct;12(5):543-6.

Behavioral assessment of young nonhuman primates: perceptual-cognitive development.

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Department of Psychology, University of Washington, Seattle 98195.


The Infant Primate Research Laboratory at the University of Washington utilizes a range of test procedures to study perceptual-cognitive development in nonhuman primate infants at high and low risk for poor developmental outcome. These test procedures rely on the visual preferences of infants and are employed in research with both human and animal subjects. The forced-choice preferential looking technique is based on the primate infants' preference for patterned over plain stimuli and allows the early measurement of visual acuity. The novelty paradigm is based on the preference that infants show for novel over familiar stimuli and is used to study intramodal and cross-modal recognition memory. Tests of recognition memory have shown sensitivity in detecting subtle functional alterations associated with perinatal risk factors such as teratogen exposure. The use of measures which assess early patterns of visual attention should be considered in both human and nonhuman primate studies in behavioral teratology.

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