Abstract # 2230 Poster # 161:

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

Rates of Externally-directed Aggression during Intruder Challenge Testing Does Not Differ between Self-biting and Non-biting Rhesus Macaques (Macaca mulatta)

E. B. Davis1, K. L. Chisholm2, J. D. Higley2,3, C. S. Barr2, R. A. Woodward1, J. M. Schech1 and S. J. Suomi4
1NIH/NICHD Research Animal Management Branch, NIH Animal Center, Poolesville, Maryland 20837, USA, 2NIH/NIAAA, Laboratory of Clinical Studies-Primate Unit, 3Brigham Young University, 4NIH/NICHD Laboratory of Comparative Ethology
     Previous research involving the introduction of an unfamiliar conspecific to a group of same-aged cohorts has demonstrated differences in behavioral responses due to their rearing condition. In this present study, we expanded this investigation to examine animals which have a known history of self-biting (SB) behavior. Our focus was to compare self-biters’ and non-biters’ aggressive responses to strangers. There has been some debate if SB behavior is related to externally-directed aggression. To test this, we examined behaviors from 19 animals known to be self-biters and 202 non-biters. Ages ranged from 1 to 10 years old with the average mean age of 4. All subjects were reared under one of three rearing conditions: mother-reared (MR), peer-reared (PR, reared only with same-aged peers), and surrogate peer-reared (SPR, reared in single cages with only limited daily social interactions). Animals were exposed to Intruder Challenge testing, and their behavior was recorded for 30 minutes. ANOVA [a=0.05] revealed no significant differences in aggressive responses between self-biters and non-biters from all rearing conditions. These findings were similar to previous findings found by Lutz et al. (2003), and suggest that SB behavior does not reflect externally-directed aggression.