Abstract # 80:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 20, 2013 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 9 (SG Foyer ABC) Poster Presentation


EMERGENCE PATTERNS OF ABNORMAL BEHAVIOR IN TWO POPULATIONS OF NURSERY-REARED RHESUS MACAQUE (MACACA MULATTA) MONKEYS

M. A. Truelove1, A. L. Martin1,2, J. E. Perlman1 and M. A. Bloomsmith1
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
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     At Yerkes, two primate infant nurseries with different rearing procedures operated concurrently from 2007-2010. Rhesus monkey infants arrived in the nurseries prior to 30 days of age and were cared for by humans. The alternate nursery (AN) subjects were reared with more human handling and earlier conspecific social contact than the standard nursery (SN) subjects. The presence or absence of abnormal behaviors was recorded for at least three observations per week in a check sheet format from arrival in the nursery until two years of age. Data were analyzed to determine whether the different rearing techniques influenced the prevalence or age of emergence of abnormal behaviors. At age two, a greater percentage (96%) of SN subjects (n = 23) had developed abnormal behaviors as compared to the AN subjects (n = 9) (67%, ?2 (1) = 5.00, p = .03). Significantly more of the SN subjects developed abnormal behaviors considered precursors to self-injurious behaviors, such as floating limb, bizarre posture, self-directed stereotypies, and hair plucking behaviors (p = .03). Animals in the SN were younger at the onset of abnormal behaviors (mean = 0.5 years) as compared with those in the AN (mean = 0.8 years, Mann-Whitney U = 15.0, p = .004). Application of these results will aid in refinement of nursery rearing practices to delay or minimize the expression of abnormal behavior.