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Physiological, behavioral, and scientific impact of different fluid control protocols in the rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta)

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Helen GrayORCiD, Henri Bertrand, Claire Mindus, Emeritus Professor Paul FlecknellORCiD, Professor Candy Rowe, Professor Alexander Thiele



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


© 2016 Gray et al.Rhesus macaques are an important model in behavioral neuroscience due to their advanced cognitive abilities. To motivate animals to engage in complex tasks, fluid rewards, in conjunction with fluid control protocols, are often used. The impact of these protocols on animal welfare is controversial. We compared two fluid control protocols against a protocol providing free access to water and evaluated the impacts on physiological states of hydration, behavioral measures of welfare, and scientific output. Blood physiology did not significantly differ between any of the protocols, and urine measures were indicative of well functioning, healthy kidneys. Changes in behaviors were limited, the main one being an increase in motivation to drink on the stricter fluid control protocol, and improved task performance early in the week. Overall, fluid control protocols had little measurable impact on the welfare of rhesus macaques while ensuring that scientific data of high quality could be obtained.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Gray H, Bertrand H, Mindus C, Flecknell P, Rowe C, Thiele A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: eNeuro

Year: 2016

Volume: 3

Issue: 4

Pages: 1-15

Online publication date: 22/09/2016

Acceptance date: 12/08/2016

Date deposited: 14/06/2021

ISSN (electronic): 2373-2822

Publisher: Society for Neuroscience


DOI: 10.1523/ENEURO.0195-16.2016


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