Abstract # 189:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 23, 2007 11:05 AM-11:25 AM: Session 18 (North Main Hall C/D) Symposium

Studies of Attachment in Nursery-reared Chimpanzees: From Peers to Responsive Caregivers

K. A. Bard
University of Portsmouth, Psychology Department, Centre for the Study of Emotion, King Henry Building, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2DY, United Kingdom
     In 1982, I was awarded the ASP Student Prize for a project on peer attachments in chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes), conducted at the Yerkes Primate Center, Emory University. This was my master’s thesis (in the Psychology Department at GSU) and my first AJP publication (Bard & Nadler, 1983). We documented that 2-year-old nursery-raised chimpanzees formed emotional bonds with a specific peer. When separated, they protested (with distress vocalizations, stereotyped behaviors, and agitated locomotion), and they exhibited despair. When reunited, they clung to each other briefly, but resumed interactions with some increased vigilance, grooming, and tandem walking. If infants were raised in triads and left with one peer while separated from the other, their level of distress was very low. In 1987, after finishing my PhD on wild orangutans, I began studies of infant development and maternal competence as part of the chimpanzee breeding and research grant at Yerkes. These studies of attachment extended to 1-year-old chimpanzees with human caregivers (preliminary results reported at the 1991 ASP meeting), and assessed the effect of different nursery environments (standard care versus responsive care). In 1999, I accepted an academic position in the Psychology Department at University of Portsmouth, England. In December 2006, I received an European Union grant, in part, to further investigate attachment in chimpanzee and human infants. Support: NIH RR-00165, RR-03591, HD-07105, and EU-FP6-IST-045169.