Development of a compact and general-purpose experimental apparatus with a touch-sensitive screen for use in evaluating cognitive functions in common marmosets

J Neurosci Methods. 2011 Jul 15;199(1):82-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2011.04.029. Epub 2011 Apr 27.


Common marmosets have been used extensively in biomedical research and the recent advent of techniques to generate transgenic marmosets has accelerated the use of this model. New methods that efficiently assess the degree of cognitive function in common marmosets are needed in order to establish their suitability as non-human primate models of higher brain function disorders. Here, we have developed a new apparatus suitable for testing the cognitive functions of common marmosets. Utilizing a mini laptop PC with a touch-sensitive screen as the main component, the apparatus is small and lightweight and can be easily attached to the home cages. The ease of designing and testing new paradigms with the flexible software is another advantage of this system. We have tested visual discrimination and its reversal tasks using this apparatus and confirmed its efficacy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Callithrix / physiology
  • Callithrix / psychology*
  • Cognition*
  • Discrimination, Psychological*
  • Equipment Design
  • Female
  • Housing, Animal
  • Male
  • Microcomputers*
  • Models, Animal
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Psychology, Experimental / instrumentation*
  • Software
  • Touch
  • User-Computer Interface*