Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 13 October 2004
Vol. 2004, Issue 41, p. pe38
[DOI: 10.1126/sageke.2004.41.pe38]


Nuns and Monkeys: Investigating the Behavior of our Oldest Old

Judith A. Corr

The author is in the Department of Anthropology, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI 49401, USA. E-mail: corrj{at}

Key Words: primate • macaque • rhesus monkeys • behavior • personality • Alzheimer's disease

Abstract: The use of nonhuman primates, particularly rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta), as the best model for human physiological and cognitive aging is broadly accepted. Studies employing nonhuman primates to investigate behavioral changes that may occur with increasing age, however, are not common mostly because of the unavailability of appropriate subjects. Recent longitudinal human studies suggest that individual personality might play a large role in aging "successfully" and in the retention of high levels of cognition into old age. As a result of the demographic trend of increasing numbers of aged monkeys and apes in captivity, an opportunity exists to further investigate behavioral aging using the monkey model.

Citation: J. A. Corr, Nuns and Monkeys: Investigating the Behavior of our Oldest Old. Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ. 2004 (41), pe38 (2004).

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