Abstract # 13473 Event # 206:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 24, 2019 01:25 PM-01:50 PM: (Room 325/326) Symposium


C. T. Snowdon1 and T. Zeigler2
1University of Wisconsin, Department of Psychology, 1202 W. Johnson Street, Madison, WI 53706, USA, 2Wisconsin Regional Primate Research Center
     Chemical signals are thought by many to be highly limited in structure and context having a fixed effect on recipients. However, recent work on chemical signaling in callitrichids suggests a high degree of contextual complexity in both the use of signals and the response to these signals. We describe several research methods, including observational field studies, functional imaging, conditioning studies and behavioral bioassays. Social and behavioral contextual effects are seen in responses by subordinate females to odors of dominant reproductive females (responding only to odors from a familiar adult female), in males responding behaviorally and hormonally to odors of novel ovulating females as a function of male reproductive status (fathers, males paired with a female but not fathers, and single males) and in significant changes in male androgen and estrone levels in response to infant odors as a function of whether they are fathers or not, whether odors are from their own versus other infants and the infant’s stage of development. Males can be conditioned to respond sexually to a novel arbitrary odor demonstrating that learning plays an important role in response to chemical signals. Multiple brain areas are activated by chemical signals including areas relating to memory, evaluation, and motivation. Chemical signals are more contextually complex than previously thought. Future work should extend to other species and avoid simplistic notions of chemical signals.