Gregoire, A. 2022. Considering sustenance preference to motivate and enhance NHP learning and performance. Laboratory Animal Science Professional 10(1) (January/February), 12-14.
Finding and utilizing the specific taste preferences of the rhesus macaque in the laboratory setting can be a valuable step towards promoting cooperative, positively reinforced training. It can also be a wonderful tool for enrichment by allowing the subject to have a level of control in their daily routine. Individual monkeys have unique personalities with specific preferences, and it is no exception when it comes to what they like to eat and drink. Positive outcomes in task performance were fully realized and appreciated when the favored juice preference and individual choice was incorporated into the testing trials. Although this is just one step of positive reinforcement training, it became the building block that strengthened and further enhanced animal welfare and scientific outcomes through communication and choice.