Abstract # 2818 Event # 7:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 10:30 AM-10:40 AM: Session 2 (Medallion Ballroom A) Oral Presentation


RATE OF SELF-INJURIOUS BEHAVIOR IN BUSPIRONE-TREATED RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) ACROSS DIFFERENT LEVELS OF HUMAN ACTIVITY IN THE ENVIRONMENT

D. C. Coble1,2, A. L. Martin1,3, J. E. Perlman1, K. R. Strait1, M. E. Wilson1 and M. A. Bloomsmith1
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, 954 Gatewood Road, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2Department of Animal Resources, Emory University, 3School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
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Self-injurious behavior can severely affect the quality of life of rhesus macaques in the research setting. This study examined the effectiveness of an anxiolytic drug, buspirone, in rhesus macaques with a history of self-injurious behavior. A cross-over experimental design was used in which buspirone (5 mg) or a control substance was administered orally on a daily basis for 28 days. Reliable observers who were blinded to the treatments collected behavioral data according to an ethogram which emphasized self-biting, self-directed, stereotypic and anxiety-related behaviors. Each of the 6 subjects was observed for 12 hours totaling 72 hours of observational data. Behavioral observations were distributed across the 28-day treatment and divided between periods of high and low human activity in the animals’ surroundings. A multivariate analysis of variance for repeated measures indicated that durations of the targeted abnormal behaviors, including self-biting, did not change with drug administration [F(1,5)=0.89, P=0.66], nor was there an interaction between the drug treatment and the level of activity in the environment around the monkeys [F(1,5)=11.35; P=0.22]. However, self-biting was more prevalent during periods of high activity [F(1,5)= 12.72; P=0.02]. Treatment with buspirone was not associated with decreased time in self-biting, stereotypic or anxiety-related behavior, and this finding conflicts with an earlier published report. Support: NIH grants R25 RR024504 and P51 RR000165.