-- Introduce yourself here!

Hello! My name is Raymond Farmer. In 2012 I graduated from Newton South High School - go Lions - and I am currently a rising junior studying Biology at Union College. At Union I am an active member of a club called Phenomenal Males, which is composed of a group of men on campus that put in the effort to not only enrich our academic and social careers at Union, but to also reach out and mentor some of the male youth in the surrounding Schenectady area. We attend various workshops on campus to fine tune our professionalism skills or sharpen our resumes, and we host events that lend a hand or serve some guidance to the Schenectady High School students who may not have the same opportunities or resources. I am also the current House Manager of the Chi Psi Fraternity at Union, and I plan to further involve myself at Union in the upcoming years.

Some fun facts/ personal information:
This upcoming Fall I will be studying in Athens, Greece. I’m super excited about that!
I am ¾ African American: ¼ British
I love taking walks, lounging with friends, playing sports, and listening to music.
I plan on either becoming an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or psychiatrist.
-- Introduce your lab here! --

I am fortunate enough to say that this is my fourth year with Project success and I’m excited to be working under the supervision of Dr. Margaret Livingstone and Dr. Carlos Ponce to further understand the neural networks associated with object recognition, in the macaque monkey. Another one of my responsibilities in the lab will be to help train these monkeys to cooperate and visually recognize objects. It is my hope to find a way to speed up this process.
-Pinpoints from the literature-

When looking at two similar objects the data that differentiates the two objects are tangled at first (RCG), then transformations occur at the V1 cortex that help untangle this info. After visual information goes through the IT cortex it is separated enough to allow us to recognize/differentiate objects. From tangled implicit object info → untangled explicit object info.

3 ways of studying
Encoding: represent image and determine neural response
Transformation: understanding the changes across V1 and V2 and other levels
Neural Codes: Build maps between neurons and behavior (object recognition)

Note from Melissa: Welcome to your Project Success homepage! We've matched you with Dr. Carlos Ponce, in the lab of Dr. Margaret Livingstone. He's suggested some great readings for you in preparation for the summer: please read them before you get here:
Introduction of Eye, Brain and Vision by David Hubel
Sense and the Single Neuron: Probing the Physiology of Perception
We've also matched you up with another mentor outside of the lab to help support you through the summer and give you further exposure to science careers. Your mentor is Arthur Su.

Aim, Possible Hypotheses, and Methods:
Aim: Enhance training efficiency/speed in the macaca mulatta. We plan on training the rhesus monkey to voluntarily enter and cooperate in a chair designed for testing.

Hypothesis: I believe altering the means to which positive reinforcement is used can enhance training efficiency in the Macaca Mulatta.

A. I will alter the amount of reward for various tasks, corresponding the amount with the difficulty of task. (More reward for more difficult tasks)
Methods: Quantify the temperament of the trainees by placing a foreign object in their cages and marking the amount of time it takes them to inspect the object.
Determine each macaque’s hierarchy of food preference by feeding each monkey various treats. Then I will serve two treats on a platter, forcing the monkey to pick the most desired treat.
Use clicker training techniques to associate the desired action with a click and a reward quickly after.
Once certain actions are learned to be associated with a click and reward, I will introduce physical cues to obtain desired behaviors and ignore actions that are made without the cue.
As stated I will reward more treats for more difficult tasks. Step by step, the macaque will receive a higher yield of reward.
The success of treatment will be determined the number of consecutive completed tasks. Also the speed to which learned tasks are performed will serve as indicator of training speed/efficiency.
B. I will offer specific treats for specific tasks. Rudimentary tasks will be rewarded with the least desirable treat, followed by a more enticing treat for a more advanced task.
Methods: Same procedure as above, except as stated more advanced behavior will be rewarded with a highly desired reward instead a greater amount of reward.

C. I will train macaques at different times of the day. (Before or after lunch ,enrichment, bedtime etc)
Methods: Same basic procedure as above.

One Method:
Determining the temperament of the macaca mulatta:

In order determine the temperament of the adult macaca mulatta we adopted a method similar to that of one cited in the American Journal of Primatology. The method came from the research article: Temperament Correlates With Training Success in Adult Rhesus Macaques by Coleman, Kristine, et al. First researchers assessed whether any of the monkeys exhibited abnormal behavior; over grooming, self directed aggression, or stereotypic behavior. They did this by standing 1m away from their respective cages for 5 minutes without engaging in eye contact. In the present study we assessed the presence of this behavior more casually. To test temperament, we placed a novel enrichment toy in the cage - Coleman et al, instead used a novel piece of food- and observed how long it took each individual to inspect the object. Trainers stood 1m away from the cage and timed. Inspection or exploration was defined as intentional visual, olfactory, or tactile examination within 5 cm of the object. Macaques that inspected the object within 10 seconds were classified as exploratory, ones that examined the object between 10s - 180s were classified as moderate, and those who did not inspect the object within 180s were classified as inhibited. We also noted the date and time exposed to the stimulus, the type of inspection, the duration of inspection, and the toy type and color. This process was repeated five times.

References (3) (Not properly cited)

Coleman, K., Tully, L. A. and McMillan, J. L. (2005), Temperament correlates with training success in adult rhesus macaques. Am. J. Primatol., 65: 63–71. doi: 10.1002/ajp.20097

Cite Temperament Test, methodology, and possibly connect findings.

Positive reinforcement training in rhesus macaques-training progress as a result of training frequency.

A-L Fernström, H. Fredlund, M. Spångberg, K. Westlund

Am J Primatol. 2009 May; 71(5): 373–379. doi: 10.1002/ajp.20659

Cite information given in my introduction. The benefits of positive reinforcement and training in non human primates for lab research.

Efficient Cooperative Restraint Training With Rhesus Macaques

Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Jacob H. Theil, Gilda Moadab

J Appl Anim Welf Sci. Author manuscript; available in PMC 2014 April 1.

Published in final edited form as: J Appl Anim Welf Sci. 2013; 16(2): 98–117. doi: 10.1080/10888705.2013.768897

Cite the ramifications of using negative reinforcement when training non human primates.