Thomas InCage Training System (ICTS)

The ultimate in cage training system for non-human primates

To optimize the training of awake NHPs on cognitive tasks Thomas RECORDING has developed a new and commercially available InCage Training System (ICTS). The ICTS is a flexible, light-weight, fully-automatic device for the training of behavioral and cognitive paradigms and enrichment of NHPs in their home cages instead of the classic primate chair restraint training environment. The new training system provides a comfortable training environment that reduces stress, improves the animal´s well-being, increases the speed of training and the animal´s performance.

Key features:

  • Cage mountable (system can be customized to any NHP cage system)
  • Fully integrated portable system
  • Small and lightweight system
  • Easy access for NHPs with special designed screen damage protection
  • No human interference necessary during training sessions
  • No restraining of NHP required for transportation to external training setups
  • Electronic and internal system parts are water and dirt protected
  • Improvement of NHP´s life quality by training the animal in its home cage
Thomas InCage Training System - Basic System Article number: AN001266
Thomas InCage Training System - Reward Unit Article number: AN001267

One of the most common experimental models in systems neurobiology are non-human primates (NHP). In neurophysiological experiments, it is typically required to train the primates over a specific period of time on behavioral tasks before the data acquisition starts. A well trained NHP is necessary to obtain sufficient experimental results within reasonable time. Therefore training and enrichment systems have been described recently elsewhere in the literature (Calapai et al., 2016; Curry et al., 2017). None of these systems is commercially available. To optimize the training of awake NHPs on cognitive tasks Thomas RECORDING has developed a new and commercially available InCage Training System (ICTS). The ICTS is a flexible, light-weight, fully-automatic device for the training of behavioral and cognitive paradigms and enrichment of NHPs in their home cages instead of the classic primate chair restraint training environment. The new training system provides a comfortable training environment that reduces stress, improves the animal´s well-being, increases the speed of training and the animal´s performance.

 

In figure 1 you can see a block diagram of a single ICTS unit. Central part of the ICTS is a shock and water proof tablet computer with an 8” screen. The ICTS displays predefined training stimuli (e.g. a change detection task (see Figure 3) or a match-to-sample task) on the touch screen and allows the animal to give feedback. The tablet computer is connected to the ICTS microprocessor control unit which controls optionally available external devices like a liquid reward system, a video camera system or a loudspeaker. Although the ICTS is designed as a stand-alone system that requires no external cables it is possible to connect the ICTS control unit via LAN or WLAN connection to a remote computer system. This remote computer system normally is located within the research facility but outside of the room housing the NHPs. This concept allows to control the training behavioral paradigm from the local remote control computer. Furthermore the tablet sends the NHP training results back to the remote computer.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3