Abstract # 118:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 03:00 PM-03:15 PM: Session 18 (Camellia ) Oral Presentation


SOCIAL STRUCTURE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN SAIMIRI SPECIES AFFECTS POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT TRAINING CONDITIONS

L. E. Williams and J. Rogge
Michale E. Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine, DVS, UTMDACC, Bastrop, TX 78602, USA
line
     Species within the genus Saimiri have been shown to have very distinct social patterns that correlate with their ecology. Boinski et al (2002) described differences between the Guyanese squirrel monkeys, which form weak female bonds, and Bolivian squirrel monkeys, which form strong female coalitions that dominate the males. Our hypothesis is that these differences should influence the way each species interact during Positive Reinforcement Training (PRT). PRT is a technique that can be used to teach primates to cooperate with routine experimental and management procedures. PRT has been shown to reduce stress and fear associated with these procedures. To test this hypothesis we observed five males of each species (S. boliviensis and S. sciurius) during routine training within their social group. We recorded the frequency of training cues, agonistic interactions, and the number of social partners within one body length across five minute training sessions. We found that although there were no differences in the amount of training cues or rewards given, the Guyanese males initiated significantly more aggressive responses and had significantly fewer animals training sessions. These results indicate that differences in the natural history of species, even within the same genus, will affect training conditions. Supported in part by NIH P40 RR01254.