A platform for ethology and cognitive neuroscience

The SILABE platform provides access for French and international research teams to several social groups of various species, living in semi-free-range enclosures. These housing conditions are ideal for behavioural and cognitive studies on non-human primates (NHP).

An academic research team from the Cognitive and Adaptive Neuroscience Laboratory (LNCA) specialising in neuroscience and animal behaviour is permanently based at the SILABE platform. The knowledge and advancements resulting from their work contribute on a daily basis to the improvement of the various teams' good practices, particularly in the design, evaluation and implementation of new environmental enrichment, in the training of animals for cooperation in care and handling, and more generally in the improvement of the welfare of captive-held animals.

The outstanding environment and the infrastructures on site make it possible to offer a research and training tool that respects both regulations and animal welfare. Primates are at the heart of the major questions regarding human origins and, because of their proximity to humans, are a valuable model for understanding certain cognitive processes.

Thus, at Fort Foch, a multidisciplinary approach, through behavioural observations, makes it possible to study the cognitive capacities of these animals and gain insight into :

  • Memory, attentional processes and the impact of ageing on the two
  • Precursors of the Theory of Mind - perception of attention, intentions, perspective-taking
  • Influence of social systems on cognitive performance, communication, decision-making processes
  • Manual laterality and the origins of human language
  • Development of a new ethical, autonomous and automated tool designed to study the cognitive capacities of individual primates living in social groups and in semi-free-range enclosures.


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