Abstract # 4390 Poster # 130:

Scheduled for Friday, June 22, 2012 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Gardenia) Poster Presentation


IDENTIFICATION OF ANXIOUS BEHAVIORS IN A LARGE NORMATIVE POPULATION OF INFANT RHESUS MONKEYS (MACACA MULATTA): MODELS OF CHILDHOOD ANXIOUS BEHAVIORS

A. M. Dettmer1, D. Kay2, G. L. Fawcett3, J. Rogers3,4, J. D. Higley5, N. D. Ryan1 and J. L. Cameron1
1Department of Psychiatry, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15239, USA, 2Department of Clinical and Health Psychology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, 3Human Genome Sequencing Center & Department of Molecular and Human Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, 4Southwest National Primate Research Center, San Antonio, Texas 78245, 5Department of Psychology, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84602
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     Previous reports of anxious behavior in infant monkeys have largely focused on studies in which the infant has been separated from its mother. However, the majority of children with anxiety disorders display atypical behavior when their mother is either present or absent. To determine whether infant monkeys reared in a naturalistic setting could serve as models for the development of anxiety disorders, we adapted three assessments of childhood anxiety to study 640 rhesus monkeys at 3-6 months: the Free Play (mother present) and Novel Fruit and Human Intruder tests (mother absent). Tests were videotaped and scored to quantify behaviors. Factor analysis revealed three factors (behavioral inhibition, reticence, impassivity) accounting for 52.8% of variance in observed behaviors. Composite z-scores were computed for each factor, scored for each monkey on each test, and analyzed with Spearman correlations. Similar to humans, inhibited infants spent more time in contact with their mothers in the Free Play test. This z-score was not correlated with those from the tests without the mother, although those z-scores were correlated with each other (rs=0.490, p<0.001). These findings show that monkeys reared in a naturalistic setting exhibit a spectrum of anxious behaviors that parallel what is observed in clinical settings. Children who go on to develop anxiety-related psychopathologies may be the subset of behaviorally inhibited individuals who also show other forms of anxious behavior.