Abstract # 2661 Event # 194:

Scheduled for Monday, September 21, 2009 08:30 AM-08:40 AM: Session 18 (Del Mar Room) Oral Presentation


K. N. Herman1, D. Delaney2, K. Chisolm2, S. M. McLaughlin3, A. Cummins2, P. Noble2, S. J. Suomi1, J. T. Winslow2 and E. E. Nelson2,3
1Laboratory for Comparative Ethology, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, NIH Animal Center, Poolesville, MD 20842, USA, 2Non-human Primate Core, National Institute of Mental Health, 3Section on Affective Development and Neuroscience, National Institute of Mental Health

In times of stress, the presence of a familiar partner facilitates healthy physical and mental outcomes. This concept, social buffering, has been identified in several non-human primate species including rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Early rearing history alters the effectiveness of social buffering, possibly through impairments in social learning. We examined how three classes of behavior (social contact, tension, arousal) were expressed across time during a novel cage test for 24 juvenile rhesus monkeys that had undergone differential social rearing experiences. Subjects were reared with mothers and peers (MR) or exclusively with peers (PR). Repeated-measures ANOVAs with rearing as a between-subjects factor, and condition (together vs. alone) and time segment (four 5-min blocks) as within-subjects factors, revealed rearing X time-segment interactions for social contact [F(3,66)=4.40, p=0.007], tension [F(3,66)=3.04, p=0.035], and arousal [F(3,60)=2.73, p=0.052]. Planned contrasts revealed higher levels of social contact and lower levels of tension and arousal for MR versus PR subjects beginning at the 5-min time-point [all p<.05]. These results suggest that only MR animals develop increasingly organized social behaviors across time. Thus, temporal patterning may be useful for elucidating rearing differences and other proximal factors that lead to social buffering.