Abstract # 13217 Poster # 109:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 9, 2018 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Chula Vista ) Poster Presentation


A. E. Schrock1, C. N. Leard1, M. C. Lutz2, J. S. Meyer3 and R. P. Gazes1
1Bucknell University, 701 Moore Ave, Lewisburg, PA 17837, USA, 2University of California, Davis, 3University of Massachusetts, Amherst
     Chronically high glucocorticoid levels are associated with health risks such as cardiovascular disease, compromised immunity, and decreased neuroplasticity. Social relationships can reduce cortisol levels through positive social interactions, but can also cause chronically high cortisol when those interactions are unpredictable and aggressive in nature. Understanding the interplay between cortisol and social relationships is essential to understanding how an individual’s social situation relates to their physiological and psychological well-being. We studied this relationship in 16 socially-housed captive brown capuchin monkeys (Cebus apella) by comparing long term hair cortisol with behavioral measures of social integration in the group. Between September 2015 and April 2017, 249.5 total hours of focal observations were conducted. We found a positive correlation between hair cortisol and scratching (R2= , p= 0.01), suggesting that capuchins with high hair cortisol are experiencing high levels of anxiety. Hierarchical multiple regression revealed a relationship between long term cortisol and both dominance rank and centrality in the social contact network (R2=0.53, p=.016) such that individuals who are more socially connected and those with higher rank show lower chronic cortisol levels. Results suggest that high rank and social integration are important for an individual’s well-being and potential long term fitness, as they are related to lower levels of anxiety and fewer physiological demands.