Abstract # 1054 Poster # 155:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: (Cambridge/Oxford Room) Poster Presentation

Do behavior disorders affect the probability of a laboratory monkey’s socialization success?

G. H. Lee, R. U. Bellanca and C. M. Crockett
Washington National Primate Res. Ctr., University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195-7330, USA
     Tactile social contact has been proposed, with some support, as a beneficial therapy for animals with behavior disorders. It stands to reason that successful therapy first depends upon a compatible pairing. Previous studies have not addressed the question of whether monkeys with behavior disorders differ from their normal counterparts in socialization success. We hypothesized that the type of behavior disorder might affect probability of compatibility. Monkeys exhibiting self-biting might be less compatible if self-aggression interferes with normal socialization, or if aggressive behavior is transferred. Overgroomers might translate self-grooming behavior to their partner and have better compatibility outcomes. Using an established protocol to evaluate compatibility, we introduced 424 grooming-contact pairs of Papio cynocephalus (Pc), Macaca nemestrina (Mn), M. mulatta (Mm), and M. fascicularis (Mfl) and classified each pairing as fully compatible or not. Each pair was classified as having 0, 1, or 2 members with abnormal behaviors (Special Needs). Pairs involving one or more special needs monkeys did not differ in compatibility from normal pairs (Fisher-exact, P > 0.80). 85 pairs included one or two overgroomers, and 122 pairs included at least one self-biter (some pairs included self-injurious biters, but most were noninjurious self-biters). Neither overgrooming (Fisher-exact, P > 0.57) nor self-biting (Fisher-exact, P > 0.10) was significantly associated with compatibility. This is an encouraging result for those attempting social contact therapy for behavior problem cases. Funded by NIH-RR00166.