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Journal Article

“Natural Laboratory Complex” for novel primate neuroscience


Tramacere,  Antonella
Linguistic and Cultural Evolution, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Max Planck Society;

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Iriki, A., & Tramacere, A. (2022). “Natural Laboratory Complex” for novel primate neuroscience. Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience, 16: 927605. doi:10.3389/fnint.2022.927605.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000B-48C1-A
We propose novel strategies for primate experimentation that are ethically valuable and pragmatically useful for cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychiatric research. Specifically, we propose Natural Laboratory Complex or Natural Labs, which are a combination of indoor-outdoor structures for studying free moving and socially housed primates in natural or naturalistic environment. We contend that Natural Labs are pivotal to improve primate welfare, and at the same time to implement longitudinal and socio-ecological studies of primate brain and behavior. Currently emerging advanced technologies and social systems (including recent COVID-19 induced “remote” infrastructures) can speed-up cognitive neuroscience approaches in freely behaving animals. Experimental approaches in natural(istic) settings are not in competition with conventional approaches of laboratory investigations, and could establish several benefits at the ethical, experimental, and economic levels.