Rapid head movements in common marmoset monkeys

Published: 26 Jan 2020 | Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/mh5t8fzbbf.1

Description of this data

Gaze shifts, the directing of the eyes to an approaching predator, preferred food source, or potential mate, have universal biological significance for the survival of a species. Our knowledge of gaze behavior in primates is based primarily on visually triggered orienting responses, whereas head orientation triggered by auditory stimuli remains poorly characterized. Common marmoset (Callithrix jacchus) is a diurnal, small-bodied (~350 g), New World monkey species, known for their rich behavioral repertoires during social interactions. We used a lightweight head tracking system to measure marmosets’ reflexive head orientations toward a natural stimulus presented from behind. We found that marmoset could rotate its head at angular velocities above 1000 degrees/second, and maintained target accuracy for a wide range of rotation amplitudes (up to 250 degrees). This unusual, saccadic head orienting behavior offers opportunities for understanding the many biological factors that have shaped the evolution of sensorimotor controls of gaze orientation by the primate brain.
This dataset contains all the original measurements of peak velocity and amplitude of head movements in two marmoset monkeys.

Experiment data files

Steps to reproduce

Data were processed and analyzed in Matlab.

Latest version

  • Version 1


    Published: 2020-01-26

    DOI: 10.17632/mh5t8fzbbf.1

    Cite this dataset

    Zhou, Yi (2020), “Rapid head movements in common marmoset monkeys”, Mendeley Data, v1 http://dx.doi.org/10.17632/mh5t8fzbbf.1


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Arizona State University


Animal Behavior, Behavioral Neuroscience, Head, Primate


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