Abstract # 4480 Event # 49:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 03:15 PM-03:30 PM: Session 8 (San Geronimo Ballroom C) Oral Presentation


DO MARMOSETS CARE TO SHARE? OTHER-REGARDING PREFERENCES FOLLOWING MANIPULATION OF THE OXYTOCIN SYSTEM

A. C. Mustoe, A. Harnisch, J. Cavanaugh and J. A. French
University of Nebraska at Omaha, Department of Psychology, Omaha, NE, USA
line
     Many nonhuman primates show a capacity for other-regarding preferences, i.e., an understanding for the existence, benefit, and welfare of other individuals. This capacity to demonstrate other-regarding preferences varies across different social and neuroendocrine contexts. Thus, using a Prosocial Choice Task, the focus of this study was to evaluate whether 6 marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) donors preferentially pulled a tray containing a food item more frequently with the presence of an opposite-sex partner. Additionally, we explored whether manipulation of oxytocin (OT) alters marmoset donor’s preference to pull trays rewarding familiar and unfamiliar opposite-sex partners. We found that marmosets preferentially pulled trays to reward unfamiliar partners more frequently when present (mean proportion of tray pulls=0.43+.07) than not present (mean proportion of tray pulls=0.30+.06) suggesting that marmosets exhibit other-regarding preferences (F(2,24)=6.81, p<.01). Conversely, OT did not influence the proportion of altruistic tray pulling or homecage grooming and proximity behaviors. These results suggest that marmosets are more sensitive to the payoffs for unfamiliar partners (mean proportion of tray pulls=0.43+.07) than familiar partners (mean proportion of tray pulls=0.13+.07), and this effect appears to be independent of OT treatment. These findings highlight the importance of social context in understanding the motivation for and demonstration of other-regarding preferences in marmosets. However, more work is needed to uncover mechanisms for the stronger preference to reward unfamiliar partners than familiar partners found among these marmosets.