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Cognitive testing as a tool to assess and enhance primate welfare

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Abstract: In this talk I will demonstrate the ways in which cognitive tests can be used to assess captive primate welfare and also how participating in cognitive testing can, in turn, enhance the welfare of the test subjects themselves. First, I will examine emerging testing methods that allow for the assessment of captive primates’ mood and wellbeing. By presenting examples of how such tests have been implemented across species and settings, I will review their practical applications as well as proposing future avenues of research. Second, I will present examples of studies that have demonstrated the benefits of providing cognitive testing as a means of enrichment for captive primates. Beyond simply relying on primates’ participation rates as a measure of engagement, select studies have reported metadata about subjects’ wellbeing during and after test sessions. Such assessments are not only important to evaluating captive primate welfare, but they also offer ways to gauge the reliability of the resulting test data. Unfortunately, evaluations of the potential welfare benefits of cognitive testing are relatively scarce and so I will also propose ways that researchers can incorporate such evaluations into their standard testing as a way to refine methods and gain a richer understanding of the test subjects’ experience. 


Dr. Lydia Hopper

Journey Description


E - Main Entrance/Reception
1 - Managing Board; sections: Infection Biology Unit, Unit of Infection Models, Laboratory Animal Science Unit, Primate Genetics Laboratory, Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology Unit, Cognitive Ethology Laboratory, Neurobiology Laboratory, Research Coordination, Public Relations, Information Technology, Administration, Technical Support, Library.
2 - Material Delivery/Purchase
3 - Platform Degenerative Diseases
4 - Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory
5 - Animal Husbandry
6 - Imaging Center, Functional Imaging Laboratory

Arrival by car

Leave the interstate A7 at exit "Göttingen Nord". Follow the B27 straight ahead in the direction of "Braunlage". After the third traffic light intersection turn right towards "Kliniken". Afterwards turn left onto "Robert-Koch-Straße" direction "Universität Nordbereich/Polizei". At the end of "Robert-Koch-Straße" turn right onto "Otto-Hahn-Straße", direction "Nikolausberg". The first street on the left turn onto "Kellnerweg", follow the signs "Deutsches Primatenzentrum".

Arrival by bus

The footpath from the bus stop "Kellnerweg" to the Main Entrance/Reception: 
From Bus stop "Kellnerweg" (line 21/22 and 23) Cross the road, go in the direction of the bus. At the mailbox, turn left into the footpath and proceed to the end. Turn right into the Kellnerweg. The main entrance of the DPZ is on the left side.

Date and Time 02.06.22 - 16:00 - 18:00 Signup is not required

Location online-Veranstaltung


Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH

Leibniz-Institut für Primatenforschung

Kellnerweg 4

37077 Göttingen

Contact Max Crayen (
Lauren Cassidy (
Abteilung Kognitive Neurowissenschaften
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