A new method of monitoring motor activity in baboons

Christiane H. May, Helen C. Sing, Richard Cephus, Siegfried Vogel, Elias K. Shaya, Henry N. Wagner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Movement activity of a normal baboon and of a baboon with induced Parkinsonism by unilateral administration of 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) was recorded by the Walter Reed Activity Monitor (or actigraph). Mean activity in the lesioned baboon was 41% less than that of the nonlesioned baboon measured over a 14-day period. In addition, the daily maximum activity value was significantly less in the MPTP-treated baboon. Moreover, resting and sleeping periods were 30% greater in the lesioned animal. The akinesia and resting and sleeping periods were displayed by the lesioned baboon throughout the day, whereas the control baboon showed them only at night. The data representing summarized movement activity are in accordance with observations of bradykinesia, hypokinesia, and akinesia of the MPTP-treated baboon. The actigraph was well tolerated by the animal because its small size and weight made it largely unobtrusive. We suggest that the actigraph is an appropriate device for measuring motor activity in nonhuman primates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-26
Number of pages4
JournalBehavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)

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