Patterns of spontaneous activity are valuable reflections of well-being in animals and humans and, because of this, investigations have frequently incorporated some form of activity monitoring into their studies. It is widely believed that activity monitoring, alongside assessments of general behaviour, should be included in initial CNS safety pharmacology screening. As the number of marmoset studies having actimetry as their focus, or as an adjunct, is increasing, we wished to evaluate an alternative approach to those commonly used. The method is based on miniaturized accelerometer technologies, currently used for human activity monitoring.
Actiwatch®-Minis were used to monitor the activity of two groups of differently housed marmosets for 14 consecutive days. Group A consisted of four mixed-sex pairs of animals and group B comprised eight group-housed males. Activity profiles were generated for weekday and weekend periods. The devices captured quantifiable data which showed differences in total activity between the two differently housed groups and revealed intragroup variations in the temporal spread of activity between weekdays and weekends. The Actiwatch®-Mini has been shown to generate retrospective, data-logged activity counts recorded from multiple animals in a single arena by means of non-invasive monitoring.