A Window into brain development: hdEEG methods to track visual development in nonhuman primates

Angela C. Voyles, Lynne Kiorpes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electroencephalography (EEG) is widely used to study human brain activity, and is a useful tool for bridging the gap between invasive neural recording assays and behavioral data. High-density EEG (hdEEG) methods currently used for human subjects for use with infant macaque monkeys, a species that exhibits similar visual development to humans over a shorter time course was adapted. Unlike monkeys, human subjects were difficult to study longitudinally and were not appropriate for direct within-species comparison to neuronal data. About 27-channel electrode caps, which allowed collection of hdEEG data from infant monkeys across development were designed. Acuity and contrast sweep VEP responses to grating stimuli was obtained and a new method for objective threshold estimation based on response signal-to-noise ratios at different stimulus levels was established. The developmental trajectories of VEP-measured contrast sensitivity and acuity to previously collected behavioral and neuronal data were compared. The VEP measures showed similar rates of development to behavioral measures, both of which were slower than direct neuronal measures; VEP thresholds were higher than other measures. This is the first usage of non-invasive technology in non-human primates. Other means to assess neural sensitivity in infants were all invasive. Use of hdEEG with infant monkeys opens many possibilities for tracking development of vision and other functions in non-human primates, and can expand our understanding of the relationship between neuronal activity and behavioral capabilities across various sensory and cognitive domains.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1342-1359
Number of pages18
JournalDevelopmental Neurobiology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • brain development
  • hdEEG
  • macaque monkey
  • spatial vision
  • visual development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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