In a laboratory at Rockefeller University in New York, two monkeys, known only as M1 and M2, spend their lives subjected to experiments designed to map the brain cells involved in facial recognition.
Through invasive experiments that turn living, sentient individuals into recording devices, M1 and M2, aged 8 and 7, have undergone multiple brain surgeries to insert cranial implants and an attached headpost, followed by surgeries to implant electrodes for fMRI guided electrophysiology studies.
Please join CAARE in asking Rockefeller University to end these outdated and inhumane monkey experiments.
The experiments are conducted while the monkeys are awake and presented with images that test them on face recognition. Confined in full body restraining devices, and kept thirsty to coerce them to comply for a small “reward” of juice or water, the monkeys are shown numerous images of faces and trained to respond.
M1 and M2 demonstrate their extreme intelligence by being able to detect normal from distorted faces, that may be stretched, shrunken, blurred, colored or otherwise altered. As the monkeys respond, researchers measure the cellular response in the brain through the electrodes.
Rockefeller University is defending these harrowing experiments with the usual claims that they may help human patients with psychiatric or neurological disorders. But we don’t need invasive brain studies on monkeys to study what we can learn from ethical human research.
Working with 4 human volunteers, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University used an advanced brain imaging tool called magnetoencephalography (MEG) and computational methods to determine how the brain rapidly distinguishes faces.
In another study, scientists at Technische Universität Dresden conducted innovative human brain research that led to the discovery of new regions of the brain. By analyzing advanced neuroimaging data and post-mortem tissue, the researchers revealed two new areas of the visual sensory thalamus. While this study did not focus on facial recognition, the pioneering work demonstrates the amazing capability for new knowledge when we explore the human brain.
Rockefeller U must end these outdated and vile monkey experiments and conduct brain research that utilizes modern, human relevant methods. Only these can teach us about the workings of the human brain and offer promise for human patients suffering from brain abnormalities.
M1 and M2 are living a never-ending nightmare from which they will never awaken or escape. They will never see the sky or the outdoors or swing and climb on trees as their unique physiology intends them to do. They will never retire but will spend their lives subjected to surgeries, deprivation, extreme captivity, and anxiety.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Brain research doesn’t require the enslavement and suffering of animals. We have wonderful modern tools to conduct human relevant brain research and we must use them.
Send your polite letter today to Rockefeller University to ask that they end these horrible, unethical experiments on monkeys.
Citizens for Alternatives to Animal Research (CAARE), is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, established to highlight and promote research without animals.
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