Abstract # 113:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 11:00 AM-11:15 AM: Session 8 (Mayfair Room) Oral Presentation

Examination of Behavior in Differently Reared Monkeys Housed Together

S. C. Strand and M. A. Novak
Neuroscience and Behavior Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 523 Tobin Hall, Amherst, MA 01002, USA
     The effect of rearing conditions on behavior and physiology has typically been studied in monkeys maintained in their unique rearing groups. Such studies provide important information about rearing differences in behavior and physiology, but do not address whether such differences persist regardless of housing environment. We studied a mixed-rearing group of rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) over two summers (average age = 14 and 26 months). The monkeys were reared in their unique groups until 6-8 months of age, and were then placed in one mixed-rearing group. Behavioral data were collected on subjects representing three rearing conditions (Mother-Peer [MP], Surrogate-Peer [SP], Peer-Only [PO]). Data were analyzed using a Repeated Measures ANOVA, with rearing condition and sex as between-subjects factors and age as a within-subjects factor. A significant increase in the range of behaviors from 14 to 26 months was observed (P < 0.001). Analysis also revealed that drink, locomotion, tactile/oral exploration, forage, social contact, social groom, stereotypy, agonistic behavior, and self groom increased significantly from 1 to 2 years of age (P < 0.05). Social contact was greater in PO monkeys than MP and SP monkeys and agonistic behavior was higher in SP monkeys than MP and PO monkeys (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that expected behavioral differences in rearing conditions persist in mixed group housing.