Pilot study results guide changes to anxiety research

March 12, 2015 Over the last year, University of Wisconsin–Madison research into the biological underpinnings of anxiety has drawn a great deal of interest — largely due to the researcher’s plan to incorporate infant monkeys raised apart from their mothers. Results from a pilot study have led Ned Kalin, psychiatry professor and lead investigator, to a change that plan. This important study, which hopes to point out new directions for developing better treatments for mental health disorders that cause serious suffering for millions of people, will move forward at UW–Madison without separating young monkeys from their mothers. In the pilot study, outlined last year in a report to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), researchers observed the behavior of 25 monkeys that were rejected by their mothers and raised out of necessity by human caregivers alongside other young monkeys. The researchers expected monkeys that were reared without their mothers to …

Move over Mozart: Study shows cats prefer their own beat

As more animal shelters, primate centers and zoos start to play music for their charges, it’s still not clear whether and how human music affects animals. Now, a study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that while cats ignore our music, they are highly responsive to “music” written especially for them. The study is online at Applied Animal Behaviour Science.

Learning lessons by following Madison’s foxes and coyotes

Last year, a family of foxes — complete with roly-poly kits — took up residence on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and made the city its playground. With winter in full swing, the foxes and their larger dog-like counterparts, coyotes, are out there again, roaming the wilder (and often not so wild) parts of the city and campus. This year, David Drake, a UW-Madison associate professor of forest and wildlife ecology, is welcoming the public to join him and his research team as they go out and radio collar the animals in an effort to track and better understand these urban canids.

Animal research ethics discussion to focus on UW anxiety study

Bioethicist Jeffrey Kahn and veterinary pathologist Eric Sandgren will meet on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus Thursday evening for a discussion of animal research ethics focusing on a particular program employing monkeys in the study of anxiety and depression. The event, which is free and open to the public, begins 7 p.m. Thursday in Room 1111 of the Genetics-Biotechnology Center Building, 425 Henry Mall.