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Individually customisable non-invasive head immobilisation system for non-human primates with an option for voluntary engagement

Slater, H; Milne, AE; Wilson, B; Muers, RS; Balezeau, F; Hunter, D; Thiele, A; ... Petkov, CI; + view all (2016) Individually customisable non-invasive head immobilisation system for non-human primates with an option for voluntary engagement. Journal of Neuroscience Methods , 269 (C) pp. 46-60. 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.05.009. Green open access

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Abstract

Background Head immobilisation is often necessary for neuroscientific procedures. A number of Non-invasive Head Immobilisation Systems (NHIS) for monkeys are available, but the need remains for a feasible integrated system combining a broad range of essential features. New method We developed an individualised macaque NHIS addressing several animal welfare and scientific needs. The system comprises a customised-to-fit facemask that can be used separately or combined with a back piece to form a full-head helmet. The system permits presentation of visual and auditory stimuli during immobilisation and provides mouth access for reward. Results The facemask was incorporated into an automated voluntary training system, allowing the animals to engage with it for increasing periods leading to full head immobilisation. We evaluated the system during performance on several auditory or visual behavioural tasks with testing sessions lasting 1.5–2 h, used thermal imaging to monitor for and prevent pressure points, and measured head movement using MRI. Comparison with existing methods A comprehensive evaluation of the system is provided in relation to several scientific and animal welfare requirements. Behavioural results were often comparable to those obtained with surgical implants. Cost–benefit analyses were conducted comparing the system with surgical options, highlighting the benefits of implementing the non-invasive option. Conclusions The system has a number of potential applications and could be an important tool in neuroscientific research, when direct access to the brain for neuronal recordings is not required, offering the opportunity to conduct non-invasive experiments while improving animal welfare and reducing reliance on surgically implanted head posts.

Type: Article
Title: Individually customisable non-invasive head immobilisation system for non-human primates with an option for voluntary engagement
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.05.009
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.jneumeth.2016.05.009
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Head immobilisation, Non-invasive, Macaque, Monkey, Eye tracking, MRI, Animal welfare
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > The Ear Institute
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1575052
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