Abstract # 2140 Poster # 151:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2007 05:00 PM-07:00 PM: Session 14 (South Main Hall) Poster Presentation

Effects of Rearing on Aspartame Consumption in Male Rhesus Monkeys (Macaca mulatta)

K. N. Herman1,2,3, E. E. Nelson3,4,5, P. L. Noble3,5, K. Wojteczko3,5, J. T. Winslow3,5, D. Pine4,5, S. J. Suomi1 and N. A. Fox2
1Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, P. O. Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20842, USA, 2Child Development Laboratory, University of Maryland, 3Non-human Primate NeurobiologyCore, National Institute of Mental Health, 4Laboratory of Affective Neuroscience, Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program, 5NIMH IRP, Bethesda, MD, USA
     Rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) reared without mothers typically display heightened responses to aversive stimuli. Yet, little is known about the effects of adverse rearing on responses to appetitive stimuli. In a clinical setting, hyper-responsivity to negative emotional events is often also associated with alterations in reward. In the present study, we assessed preference for a sweet solution in a two bottle preference test in a group of two-year old nursery-reared (n=4) and mother-reared monkeys (n=4). Testing took place over five consecutive days in a novel cage and consisted of one hour of free access to two bottles attached to the cage. One bottle contained a 6% aspartame solution and the other contained water. T-tests [a=0.05] showed nursery-reared monkeys had a significantly greater preference for aspartame solution than mother-reared monkeys. These findings suggest that adverse rearing experiences may have widespread influences on emotional development - influencing not only aversive emotional systems but also those related to reward.