Behavioral and genetic color vision evaluation of an albino male capuchin monkey (Sapajus apella).


Departamento de Psicologia Experimental, Instituto de Psicologia, Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Prof. Mello Moraes 1721, São Paulo, São Paulo, CEP 05508-030, Brazil. [Email]


Albinism is a rare phenotype that affects the pigmentation in eyes, hair, and skin. The effects of albinism in color vision are still unclear. Our study aimed to evaluate the color vision phenotype and genotype of an albino capuchin monkey. An adult albino male capuchin monkey (Sapajus apella) had the L and M opsin gene analyzed, and was trained in a behavioral task of color discrimination. Color discrimination thresholds were determined along 20 chromatic axes around the background chromaticity. A color discrimination ellipse was drawn by interpolation among these thresholds. The albino monkey's behavioral color discrimination ellipse showed poor discrimination along the red-green axis indicating a deutan phenotype. Genetic analysis revealed only the presence of the L gene in the albino monkey. This result did not differ from that obtained with ten previously tested non-albino monkeys. Behavioral and molecular analyses agreed that the albino capuchin monkey had color vision similar to that of non-albino dichromat monkeys, suggesting no influence of albinism on color discrimination.


Albinism,Color discrimination ellipsis,OCA,Platyrrhini,Positive reinforcement,