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No strings attached: physiological monitoring of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) with thermal imaging

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Methodological challenges make physiological affective observations very restrictive as in many cases they take place in a laboratory setting rather than the animals' natural habitat. In the current study using Infrared Thermal Imaging we examine the physiological thermal imprints of five macaques. The monkeys were exposed in three different experimental scenarios. Playing with a toy, food teasing as well as feeding. It was observed that during teasing the temperature of the region surrounding the eyes was higher than play as a result of rapid saccades directed at the food. Compared to play and teasing, a lower temperature accompanied feeding on the upper lip, nose and orbital region suggesting elevated levels of distress. These findings prove that thermal imaging is a reliable method of physiological monitoring the subject at a distance while preserving a semi-experimental setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article number160
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2015


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