Abstract # 121:

Scheduled for Friday, August 19, 2005 10:45 AM-11:05 AM: Session 9 (Crystal Ballroom) Oral Presentation

Behavioral Measures of Temperament and Personality in Vervet Monkeys: Genetic, Developmental and Environmental Contributions

L. Fairbanks, J. N. Bailey, M. J. Jorgensen and S. E. Breidenthal
University of California, Los Angeles, Neuropsychiatric Institute, Univ. of California at Los Angeles, 760 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024, USA
     Behavioral genetics research with human has consistently demonstrated strong genetic contributions to individual differences in temperament and personality using subjective inventories to measure personality traits, with little or no evidence for effects of shared family environment. Here we present results of objective behavioral tests designed to measure variation in impulsivity, novelty seeking, reactivity, social anxiety, physical activity, and sociability in vervet monkeys. Each of these traits has a predictable developmental trajectory that differs for males and females, but there is substantial continuity of individual differences across developmental stages. The extended multigenerational pedigree at the UCLA/VA Vervet Research Colony has been used to estimate genetic and maternal environmental contributions to variation in these traits. The results indicate that there are significant genetic contributions to individual differences vervet monkey personality. We found short-term effects of maternal style on infant behavior, but little or no long-term effect of variation in the early maternal environment on individual differences in these traits.