Abstract # 2779 Poster # 91:

Scheduled for Friday, June 18, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 18 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


IMITATION OF FACIAL EXPRESSIONS BY NEONATAL MONKEYS (MACACA MULATTA)

M. Rulien, V. Yutuc, K. Morrisroe and G. Sackett
University of Washington, National Primate Research Center, Infant Primate Laboratory, Box 357330, Seattle, Washington 98195, USA
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Previously, we found that neonatal pigtail monkeys failed to imitate human facial expressions, but paid more attention to expressions than no-expression baselines. This study assessed imitation at 3, 5, and 9 days by rhesus macaques [N=22] to Mouth Opening, Tongue Protrusion, Eye Opening, and Lip Smack. A 20-second neutral face followed by a 20-second randomly selected expression was repeated until each expression was tested once. The neonate’s expressions were video recorded and coded blind, yielding a 0/1 score for expression occurrence and duration of attention to the tester during each 20-second period. There was no evidence of imitation at any age [all P>0.05], but attention was greater during expression than baseline periods [P=0.003] at 3 days. Pigtail neonates paid greater attention to expressions than did rhesus at each age [all P<0.01]. These imitation results did not replicate findings from three other rhesus studies, possibly due to procedural differences involving longer test periods and actively eliciting attention in those studies. Supported by the Thoughtful House for Children, Austin, TX and NIH grants RR00166 (WaNPRC) and HD02274 (CHDD).