She’s Tormented Cats and Monkeys and Lied About It—Here’s the Truth

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3 min read

Written by Dr. Katherine Roe

Harvard experimenter Margaret Livingstone seems to be trying to keep the public in the dark, just as she does with the monkeys in her laboratory. In a recent statement, she attempted to justify her horrific experiments on monkeys by claiming that she has only sutured two monkeys’ eyes shut for only one year in 2016 and stating that her research has loosely benefited humans.

PETA is calling BS, and we have the receipts!

The following examples are only a small sample of the torment and misery that Livingstone has inflicted on animals over the past four decades.

  • In contradiction to her statement, she sewed shut the eyes of five rhesus monkeys, including infants, back in 2005. Then she killed them.

Receipt: “Loss of Neurofilament Labeling in the Primary Visual Cortex of Monocularly Deprived Monkeys

  • She deprived cats of sleep by forcing them to stay awake in a rotating drum that she had constructed herself, intubated and paralyzed them, and implanted them with electrodes to study how their sleep-deprived brain cells would respond to visual input.

Receipt: “Effects of Sleep and Arousal on the Processing of Visual Information in the Cat

  • She kept a baby owl monkey and the animal’s mother in complete darkness for up to 20 hours a day for the first 10 weeks of the baby’s life.

Receipt: “Ocular Dominance Columns in New World Monkeys

  • She drilled holes into the skulls of at least dozens of squirrel monkeys, owl monkeys, long-tailed macaques, and rhesus macaques; surgically implanted electrodes into their brains; and attached head posts to their skulls. She also sewed coils onto the surface of their eyes. Then she either chemically paralyzed them or used head restraint devices to keep them still while she recorded their brain activity. For many of the experiments, the monkeys were killed within days of these procedures.


  • She deliberately inflicted strabismus—or crossed eyes—on baby squirrel monkeys by cutting the eye muscles they needed to use in order to focus.

Receipt: “Ocular Dominance Columns in New World Monkeys

  • In addition, she’s taken newborn infant rhesus macaque away from their mothers so that she can sew their eyelids shut or force them to be raised by staff members wearing welding masks.

Receipt: “Anatomical Correlates of Face Patches in Macaque Inferotemporal Cortex

Maybe Marge has been torturing monkeys for so long that she has forgotten all the horrific things she has done. Or maybe she’s hoping no one knows how to do a literature search. Speaking of such searches, if any of her depraved animal experiments have led to treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, glioblastoma, or tremor, she hasn’t published any of that work. We want those receipts!

Please join PETA and almost 60,000 supporters in calling on Harvard’s administration to close Livingstone’s laboratory.

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