This study reports the administration of the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery system's delayed matching to sample (DMTS) task to juvenile baboons. Nine subjects (female=5, male=4) were trained with delay intervals ranging from 0 to 80s. Trial unique stimuli were utilized in combination with matching to sample, in contrast to non-matching to sample, to more accurately assess components of medial temporal lobe (hippocampal formation) mediated working memory. These parameters force subjects to rely on recognition for matching stimuli and overcome their innate tendency to choose novel stimuli (non-matching), thus increasing task difficulty. Testing with delays intervals of 0-2, 4, 8, and 16s revealed decreased percent correct responding as delay intervals increased. An effect of 1 vs. 3 distractor stimuli on accuracy was also noted. Increasing the number of distractors resulted in decreased observing response latencies. The increase in choice response latency seen with increasing delay interval was independent of number of distractor stimuli presented. There were no sex differences in task performance. Our laboratory is focused on understanding the functional consequences of suboptimal conditions during pregnancy and early postnatal life in offspring. The ability of juvenile baboons to perform the DMTS task demonstrates the utility of this non-human primate model in examining pre- and post-natal conditions that impact the development of working memory. Evaluation of causes and consequences of impaired working memory in a variety of human diseases will be assisted by the use of this task in nonhuman primate models of human health and disease.
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