Abstract # 137:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 03:30 PM-03:45 PM: Session 14 (Regency East #2) Oral Presentation


HERITABLE RESPONSES TO A STANDARDIZED TEST IS RELATED TO SOCIAL GROUP BEHAVIOR IN CAPTIVE BABOONS (PAPIO HAMADRYAS SP.)

S. M. Ramirez1, J. Rogers1, E. Sosa1 and L. Brent1,2
1Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, PO Box 760549, San Antonio, TX 78245, USA, 2Chimp Haven, INC
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     Differences in temperament are known to be heritable. In this study, baboon subjects who exhibited divergent levels of significantly heritable aggressive and submissive behavioral responses to a standardized novelty test were compared on their behavior in their home social cages. Four groups of adult female baboons (10 in each group) were compared: those who displayed high or low levels of aggression to a novel toy and high or low submission to a mirror. Subjects were later observed within uni-male/multi-female social groups of 15 – 20 cagemates. Social and nonsocial behaviors were recorded during 20 30-minute focal observations. For analyses, data were square root transformed to attain normal distributions. We found that subjects who displayed the highest levels of aggression in the novel toy test showed higher levels of aggression (F=9.0, p<0.008) and received more submissive behaviors (F=6.8, p<0.018) from other group members. No differences in non-social behavior were found. Subjects who displayed the different levels of submission during the mirror test showed no significant differences in social or non-social behavior in the home cage. This study indicates that aggressive behavior exhibited during an individual novel object test predicts elements of social behavior in the home cage and suggests that the genetic predisposition to aggression uncovered by the novelty test may have implications for a wider range of behavioral processes and circumstances.