Performance of the marmoset monkey on computerized tasks of attention and working memory

Brain Res Cogn Brain Res. 2004 Apr;19(2):123-37. doi: 10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2003.11.007.


The CAmbridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery (CANTAB) is a computerised battery of neuropsychological tests presented as stimuli on a touch-sensitive computer screen that has been used to assess a wide range of cognitive functions in neuropsychiatric patients, healthy volunteers, and species of non-human primate, primarily the rhesus macaque. The common marmoset is a small-bodied, tractable simian primate that breeds well under laboratory conditions. This primate has been quite extensively studied in terms of its abilities and limitations with respect to appetitive cognitive conditioning. However, the CANTAB versions of sustained/divided attention and working memory tasks have to-date not been studied in the marmoset. Here we describe adult marmoset performance on the CANTAB five-choice serial reaction time task, a delayed match-to-position task, and a task derived from the CANTAB visuo-spatial paired associates learning task that constituted two, concurrent delayed match-to-position tasks. The acquisition and stable longitudinal performance of these tasks provide strong evidence that the marmoset, in addition to the macaque, can be the species of choice for CANTAB-based drug and lesion studies of cognitive function, using tasks similar to those deployed in the study of human cognition and diagnosis of neuropsychiatric disorders.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Callithrix / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Computers
  • Conditioning, Psychological / physiology*
  • Discrimination Learning / physiology
  • Female
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / physiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Reaction Time
  • Touch