Link of the month
In cognitive neuroscience, non-human primates are often required to solve complex cognitive tasks that require extensive training. Researchers of the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab developed a standardised unsupervised training protocol for use with the XBI computerized training device that was also developed in-house. The results of successful application of this protocol are presented in a study published in the Journal of Neurophysiology and discussed in the accompanying Podcast Interview with Michael Berger, Valeska Stephan and Antonino Calapai. Article Podcast
Leibniz-WissenschaftsCampus Primate Cognition Films
To study how primates influence each other when they work together cooperatively or competitively, scientists at the DPZ and the ScienceCampus developed a novel experimental platform.
"Tierversuche verstehen": An information initiative of the scientific community
News, background information, documentaries, films, info-graphics, interviews and photos on the subject of animal testing are available on www.tierversuche-verstehen.de. Generally interested individuals, teachers and students, as well as media and other opinion leaders, will find high quality content here. In addition, the platform provides a discussion forum and a database of experts journalists can make contact with and qualified presenters can be found for schools and further training.
Radio interview with Stefan Treue on the radio show "IQ - Wissenschaft und Forschung": http://www.br.de/radio/bayern2/programmkalender/ausstrahlung-652518.html
On the radio show "IQ - Wissenschaft und Forschung" broadcasted on April 22, 2016 on Bayern 2, Prof Stefan Treue talked about animal experiments in science and explained why non-human primates are essential for his scientific work about higher brain functions.
New edition of the DFG brochure "Animal Experiments in Science": http://www.dfg.de/download/pdf/dfg_magazin/forschungspolitik/tierschutz2015/tierversuchsbroschuere_doppelseitig.pdf
The new 2016 edition of the brochure "Animal Experiments in Science" published by the Senate Commission on Animal Protection and Experimentation of the DFG provides recent and extensive information about animal experiments in science ranging from numbers and range of application of animal experiments to legal regulations and ethical principles of animal experimentation as well as possibilities and limitations of alternative methods. The brochure is intended to contribute to an objectification of the often controversial and emotionally led discussion about animal experiments.
Press release "How we keep track of what matters" about latest research in the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory: http://www.dpz.eu/en/home/single-view/news/wie-wir-das-wesentliche-im-blick-behalten.html
Neuroscientists Tao Yao, Stefan Treue and B. Suresh Krishna wanted to understand the neural mechanisms that allow us to see a stable world and keep track of relevant objects even without directly looking at them and when we shift our gaze. Their study shows that the rhesus macaque's brain "marks" relevant visual objects and rapidly updates the position of these markers as the monkey looks around. Since humans and monkeys exhibit very similar eye-movements and visual function, these findings are likely to generalize to the human brain. These results are also likely to be important for our understanding of disorders like schizophrenia, visual neglect and other attention deficit disorders. The results were published in PLOS Biology.
Video about the exhibition "Portraits of the Mind" at the DPZ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G60z9UUajb0
From Feb 5 to May 31 2016, the German Primate Center is hosting the exhibition "Portraits of the Mind" which shows fascinating images of the brain based on the book "Portraits of the Mind - Visualizing the Brain from Antiquity to the 21st Century" (Abrams, November 2010) by the US neuroscientist Carl Schoonover. In addition, images, films, and interactive exhibitions from the current neuroscience research at the DPZ, the Biomedizinische Forschungs GmbH and the Center of Anatomy of the University of Göttingen are shown. The Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, the Sensorimotor Group, and the Decision and Awareness Group are also contributing several items to the exhibition like illustrations of the macaque brain by Dr Igor Kagan that can be seen in the video. More information about the exhibition can be found here.
Animal experiments in the Leibniz Society: http://www.leibniz-gemeinschaft.de/forschung/tierversuche/
New website of the Leibniz Society with information about animal experiments performed in Leibniz Institutes. The site also features six short movies in which Leibniz scientists talk about why their research has to rely on animal experiments and how they deal with the responsibility for their animals. Among these researcheres are Prof Stefan Treue and Dr Cliodhna Quigley from the Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory.
The Basel Declaration: http://www.basel-declaration.org/
The aim of the Basel Declaration is to bring the scientific community together to further advance the implementation of ethical principles such as the 3Rs whenever animals are being used and to call for more trust, transparency and communication on the sensitive topic of animals in research.
The interdisciplinary Collaborative Research Center 889 “Cellular Mechanisms of Sensory Processing”: http://sfb889.uni-goettingen.de/#eng
Processing of sensory information is the basis of our interaction with the outside world and sensory deficits remain a major concern and serious burden for public health. This Collaborative Research Center is taking a multidisciplinary and integrative approach to elucidate cellular mechanisms of processing sensory information and potentially develop therapeutic approaches. Working on flies, rodents and primates and comparing audition, vision, olfaction and somatosensation, common principles are explored and specialized mechanisms of sensory processing are deciphered.
Pro-Test Germany: http://www.pro-test-deutschland.de/en
Pro-Test Germany is an educational organization that aims to provide reliable information about using animals in both basic and applied research and offers clarification on many scientific, ethical, legal, social, and psychological aspects of animal research. The organization acts as a common platform and provides contacts to everybody who wishes to know more about the role of animal experiments in science.
Leibniz-ScienceCampus Primate Cognition: http://www.primate-cognition.eu/en/home.html
The Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory is part of the Leibniz-ScienceCampus Primate Cognition which was founded in 2015 to achieve a comprehensive framework for the mechanisms of information processing and decision making in human and non-human primates. It offers a joint research platform for neuroscientists, psychologists and cognitive and behavioral biologists.
Virtual tour through the primate husbandry of the DPZ: http://www.dpz.eu/en/info-center/media-center/virtual-tour.html
The tour gives insights into the daily work of the veterinarians, animal care takers, and scientists, and provides useful and detailed information on the breeding of nonhuman primates for the purpose of research.
Network linking nine European primate centers in order to improve and develop primate housing and breeding as well as the use of primates in research.