, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 394-400
Date: 18 Mar 2014

A modified light-dark box test for the common marmoset

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Abstract

The common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) has attracted extensive attention for use as a non-human primate model in biomedical research, especially in the study of neuropsychiatric disorders. However, behavioral test methods are still limited in the field of marmoset research. The light-dark box is widely used for the evaluation of anxiety in rodents, but little is known about light-dark preference in marmosets. Here, we modified the light-dark test to study this behavior. The modified apparatus consisted of three compartments: one transparent open area and two closed opaque compartments. The closed compartments could be dark or light. We found that both adult and young marmosets liked to explore the open area, but the young animals showed more interest than adults. Furthermore, when one of the closed compartments was light and the other dark, the adult marmosets showed a preference for the dark compartment, but the young animals had no preference. These results suggest that the exploratory behavior and the light-dark preference in marmosets are age-dependent. Our study provides a new method to study exploration, anxiety, and fear in marmosets.