Abstract # 2967 Poster # 46:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 17, 2010 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Medallion Ballroom C/D/E/F) Poster Presentation


CONSISTENCY OF TEMPERAMENT OF IN GROUP-HOUSED INFANT RHESUS MONKEYS (MACACA MULATTA) DURING THE FIRST MONTHS OF LIFE

J. W. Kirton1, D. J. Blocker1, K. Orgad1, S. J. Suomi2 and J. D. Higley1,3
1Brigham Young University, Department of Psychology, Provo, UT 84057, USA, 2LCE, NICHD, Poolesville, MD, 20837, 3LCTS, NIAAA, Poolesville, MD 20837
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While a wide number of studies have assessed temperament as a predictor of future personality or behavior, few studies have assessed its interindividual stability over the first few months of life in nonhuman primates. This laboratory study examined temperament in group-housed infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) assessing interindividual consistency from the second through fifth months of life using objective behavioral measures. Stability of temperament was measured by correlating (Pearson Product-Moment tests) individual differences in the frequency of 25 behaviors over months 2-5 of life in 88 mother-reared subjects. Two 5-minute sessions were recorded for subjects each week and the mean for each month was the dependent variable. Results: Eleven behaviors exhibited a statistically significant consistency across at least three of the four months measured, with a positive r-value between 0.204 and 0.601 and with p-values between P<0.05 and P<0.001. Statistically significant consistency was found for maternally-oriented behaviors of contact cling, mutual ventral, approach by infant, and leave by infant. This maternally-oriented activity trait may reflect maternal treatment, as well as temperament because receive groom by mother, and restrain by mother were also consistent across months. Consistency was found for the behaviors characteristic of activity including locomotion, environmental exploration, and inactivity. Consistency was also found in socialize with others, and anxiety-like self-directed behavior. This study suggests that objective measurements of temperament in infant rhesus monkeys are consistent across time and possibly situation.