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Understanding how attention works in monkeys – EARA Q&A


Notes

In the latest episode of EARA’s #TransparencyThursday series, PhD student Esperanza Domingo Gil, of the Cognitive Neurophysiology Research Group, at the University of Bremen, Germany, explains why she uses monkeys to understand the fundamentals of attention in the brain.


Esperanza Domingo Gil

By studying the brains of monkeys while they take part in visual task, using implants, her research seeks to find out how different cells in the brain work together (or not) to prioritise important information when we employ attention.



Esperanza also explained why this type of research is important: “My hope is that basic research such as this can unravel these very exciting mysteries of the brain, so that in the future, other researchers can build upon our findings to help heal the brain when disease or age take over,” she said.


A federal state ruling recently halted another basic research neuroscience study, involving monkeys at the Cognitive Neurophysiology Research Group, which the University has now appealed through the German courts.


Also in the Q&A, Esperanza described how her institution looks after their monkeys and ensures their optimal welfare, for example by keeping them in groups, with both indoor and outdoor areas, and other stimulation.


Read more about the research with monkeys at Bremen.

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