Bloomsmith, M., Franklin, A., Neu, K. et al. 2013. Training time required to collect a variety of biological samples using primarily positive reinforcement training methods. American Journal of Primatology 75(S1), 65. (36th Meeting of the American Society of Primatologists Scientific Program, Abstract #112)
Positive reinforcement training (PRT) methods can be applied to gain the voluntary cooperation of laboratory primates with the collection of biological samples. Information will be provided on training techniques used and the amount of training time required for various sample collections. Thirty-five female chimpanzees were trained for urine collection using a handheld receptacle, which required a mean of 51 training sessions. The number of training sessions required for young adult, middle aged and older adult chimpanzees to learn this task were similar, as measured by an ANOVA (p=0.91). Four female rhesus monkeys were trained using PRT to present their hindquarters for the collection of vaginal fluid using a cotton swab, and this required a mean of 33 training sessions. Three other monkeys had some negative reinforcement applied in addition to PRT, to facilitate collecting the samples on schedule, and they were trained after a mean of 54 training sessions. Eleven female rhesus monkeys were trained to present their leg and tolerate a blunted needle in preparation for blood collection using both positive and negative reinforcement methods. This training required a mean of 30 training sessions per individual. Practical information about training time and the supplemental use of negative reinforcement can guide others considering this type of training in planning and determining needed funding to support the training.