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Research Article  |   March 2007
Sensory Processing Disorders in a Nonhuman Primate Model: Evidence for Occupational Therapy Practice
Author Affiliations
  • Mary L. Schneider, PhD, OTR, is Professor, Departments of Kinesiology (Occupational Therapy Program) and Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison, 2175 Medical Sciences Center, 1300 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706-1532; schneider@education.wisc.edu
  • Colleen F. Moore, PhD, is Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Lisa L. Gajewski, MS, OTR, is Doctoral Student, Department of Kinesiology (Occupational Therapy Program), University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Nellie K. Laughlin, PhD, is Scientist, Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Julie A. Larson is Senior Research Specialist, Harlow Center for Biological Psychology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Cynthia L. Gay, MS, OTR, is Doctoral Student, Department of Kinesiology, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Andrew D. Roberts, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Physics, Trafton Science Center, Minnesota State University–Mankato
  • Alexander K. Converse, PhD, is Assistant Scientist, Waisman Laboratory for Functional Brain Imaging, University of Wisconsin–Madison
  • Onofre T. DeJesus, PhD, is Professor, Department of Medical Physics, University of Wisconsin–Madison
Article Information
Sensory Integration and Processing / Sensory Integration Treatment
Research Article   |   March 2007
Sensory Processing Disorders in a Nonhuman Primate Model: Evidence for Occupational Therapy Practice
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2007, Vol. 61, 247-253. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.2.247
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2007, Vol. 61, 247-253. doi:10.5014/ajot.61.2.247
Abstract

Evaluation of sensory processing function serves as a critical component of treatment planning and implementation of intervention in pediatric occupational therapy practice. We developed a Sensory Processing Scale for Monkeys (SPS–M), based on human tests, that measures behavioral responses to a series of tactile stimuli. This assessment has been used to assess sensory processing in adult rhesus monkeys exposed to prenatal alcohol, stress, or postnatal lead. Control monkeys from undisturbed pregnancies showed a habituation pattern, prenatally stressed monkeys showed sensitization, and prenatal alcohol–exposed monkeys showed relatively high responsiveness without habituation across trials. Lead-exposed monkeys showed sensitization compared to nonlead-exposed controls, and chelation reduced the sensitization in lead-exposed animals. Aversive responsiveness was associated with up-regulated striatal dopamine receptor binding measured with positron emission tomography.