Abstract # 145:

Scheduled for Saturday, June 19, 2010 01:30 PM-01:40 PM: Session 27 (Mezzanine Ballroom A/B/C/D) Oral Presentation


T. E. Ziegler, L. Peterson, M. Sosa and A. Bernard
Wisconsin National Primate Res. Ctr., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53715, USA


Common marmoset fathers are actively engaged in paternal care of their own offspring and are also responsive to retrieving both their own and novel distressed infants. We have reported previously that fathers’ testosterone levels decrease following exposure to their infant’s scent. Our present study addresses the following questions: 1) Are there differences in the hormonal response of experienced fathers to scent of their own versus a novel infant and 2) do experienced fathers respond hormonally to older nondependent own or novel infants? Males were tested with isolated infant scents: vehicle, own infant scent, and unfamiliar infant scent, at two different infant ages: two to three weeks of age and again at three to four months of age when infants are weaned and independent of constant carrying. Significant differences were found for fathers for their ratio of estrogen to androgen levels between the three scent treatments [ANOVA: F(3,7)=8.00, p=0.02]. Scent from their own infant significantly lowered the estrogen/androgen ratio below the control and novel scents [p<0.05] at infant age of two to three weeks while no significant hormonal change occurred at the three to four months age. These results indicate that fathers do distinguish between their own and novel infant scents but that they are not influenced hormonally once their infants are of an independent age. Funding sources: NIH, HD057684 and RR000167 to the WNPRC.