Abstract # 2055 Event # 141:

Scheduled for Friday, August 18, 2006 04:30 PM-04:45 PM: Session 14 (Regency East #2) Oral Presentation


Affiliative preference stability across situation in juvenile rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

T. Weinstein1,2, J. P. Capitanio1,2 and W. A. Mason1,2
1University of California, Davis, Department of Psychology, One Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center
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     The cross-situational stability of juvenile affiliative preferences has received little attention in primate research. We assessed affiliative preferences of 28 two-year-old rhesus macaques in their natal half-acre enclosures, then tested preference stability during temporary relocation from the natal cage to a novel environment. We placed each focal subject in a start cage at the apex of a V-shaped apparatus containing a stimulus animal at each end: one preferred peer, and one familiar, but non-preferred peer. At the beginning of each of ten 2-minute trials, focal subjects were released from the start cage and allowed to interact with either stimulus animal. 75% of focal subjects approached the preferred peer first (Chi Square=7.0, p<0.01), and overall, subjects spent more time affiliating with the preferred than with the non-preferred peer (Mann-Whitney U=247, p<0.05). Previous assessment of subjects’ temperament during infancy predicted differences in responsiveness during the current experiment. For example, individuals high in Confidence (i.e. demonstrated a bold, confident, and curious response style) spent more time affiliating with both stimulus animals (Spearman rho=0.50, p<0.01) and exploring the environment (rho=0.54, p<0.01) than individuals low on this dimension. Our findings demonstrate that juvenile affiliative preferences assessed in naturalistic conditions show consistency in a stressful environment, and that individual differences in infant temperament influence juvenile behavior.