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Neuroscience & Behavior
Master of Science (M.S.)
Year Degree Awarded
Month Degree Awarded
vibration, construction, primates, behavior
Previous studies have revealed insight into the effects of noises and vibrations on rodents, livestock, and zoo animals, but there is little information about such effects on non-human primates. This study aimed to assess the impact of construction activity on the behavior of animals in a non-human primate (rhesus macaque) facility. Construction activity and modified frequency behavioral data were divided into three phases: baseline (~3 months prior to construction), roof (construction on top of the animal facility), and honors (construction of 7 new buildings adjacent to the facility). We hypothesized that anxiety behaviors (scratch and yawn) would be increased during the construction as opposed to baseline but that overall behavioral activity would be decreased. Additionally, we predicted that these effects would be most prominent during the roof construction period. However, subjects actually exhibited a significant decrease in scratching behavior from the baseline to the honors phase (p=0.040). The average number of behaviors performed in a 15-sec interval (behavioral change) significantly decreased (p=0.034) between the baseline and honors construction periods. This same decrease was seen in the average number of different species typical behaviors performed per observation period (behavioral range; p=0.004). Both effects occurred from the baseline to honors period (p=0.015). Closer inspection of the honors construction period revealed levels of scratching , behavioral change, and behavioral range had returned to baseline during Honors 3 and 4 (All p>0.05). These data suggest that adaptation may be possible when monkeys are exposed to prolonged construction.
Melinda A. Novak