The Performance of Primates Following Exposure to Pulsed Whole-Body Gamma-Neutron Radiation
ARMED FORCES RADIOBIOLOGY RESEARCH INST BETHESDA MD
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Eighty-eight monkeys Macaca mulatta were trained to perform a shock motivated visual discrimination task and were exposed to a single supralethal dose of pulsed gamma-neutron radiation. The postirradiation performance of these animals is presented in a manner which facilitates group comparisons of performance following doses of approximately 1100, 1700, 2600, 4900, 8900 or 15, 200 rads. At these dose levels, group performance declined within minutes after exposure. For some subjects, the decline was so severe that the animals appeared comatose. The frequency with which a behavioral decrement was observed and the severity of the initial decrement appeared to be dose dependent. After the initial decrement, most animals at least partially regained their ability to perform the discrimination task. Performance was generally maintained at recovery levels until shortly before death. Factors which appeared capable of modifying observed postirradiation behavior include the gamma-neutron ratio of the radiation source and the nature of the behavioral task employed.