Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download campus access dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Dissertations that have an embargo placed on them will not be available to anyone until the embargo expires.



Access Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type


Degree Program

Neuroscience & Behavior

Degree Type

Master of Science (M.S.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



Self-injurious behavior (SIB) is a behavioral pathology seen in a small percentage of humans and non-human primates. In one previous study, macaques with SIB had more sleep disruption than controls, but observations were limited. Two studies were conducted: a baseline study to investigate nighttime activity in rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) displaying SIB and controls, and a probiotic study to assess probiotic Bifidobacterium infantis 35624 for high nighttime activity. Subjects were 13 rhesus macaques, 5 with SIB (3 females; 1 SIB). Videocapture of Nighttime Activity (VNRA) was developed to record in complete darkness. IR-receptive webcams were connected to a laptop running ISPYCONNECT, software which recorded movement. Subjects were observed during the entire lights-off period (8pm-7am). Measures included total movement time (TMT), movement in hour 1 (HR1) and hour 11 (HR11), and number of videos. In the baseline, SIB subjects had higher TMT (pBifidobacterium infantis 35624 had no effect on sleep disruption, and also that increased nighttime activity seems to be a persistent characteristic of SIB subjects. It is unknown if increased nighttime activity affects SIB subjects; it may result in elevated SIB, or the SIB pathology could result in sleep disruption.


First Advisor

Melinda A Novak

Second Advisor

Agnes Lacreuse

Third Advisor

Rebecca Spencer