Abstract # 4486 Event # 4:

Scheduled for Wednesday, June 19, 2013 09:00 AM-09:15 AM: (San Geronimo Ballroom B) Symposium


MULTILEVEL ANALYSIS OF SOCIAL MONOGAMY IN MARMOSETS: BEHAVIOR, STEROIDS, AND NEUROPEPTIDES

J. French1, A. Smith2, D. Ren1, J. Cavanaugh1 and A. Agmo3
1University of Nebraska at Omaha, Callitrichid Research Center and Neuroscience Program, Omaha, NE 68182, USA, 2Florida State University, 3University of Tromso, Norway
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     Among primates, social monogamy is most widespread among species in the neotropical primates. In this presentation, we focus on an analysis of the establishment of strong social relationships (i.e., "pair bonds") in species of the genus Callithrix from multiple levels of analysis. Multivariate analyses of the process of pair bond formation reveal a dynamic process that involves changes in multiple behavioral processes, particularly opposing changes in sexual behavior and affiliative social behavior, which decrease and increase, respectively, during pair bond formation. Changes in steroid hormones during the process of bond formation in males reveal a pattern of reduction in both androgens and glucocorticoids during pairing, suggesting these regulatory hormones play a role in facilitating male affiliation. Finally, the neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) also modifies sociality among heterosexual pairs, and antagonism of the OT system inhibits social, but not sexual, behavior among newly-paired marmosets. Recent work on the molecular genetics of OT and its receptor suggest significant modification of this neuropeptide signaling system in marmosets, which provide further evidence for neural specializations for social monogamy in marmosets. Supported by NIH (HD042882) and NSF (00-91030).