Abstract # 5837 Poster # 66:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 11 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


THE ONTOGENY OF SPONTANEOUS LIPSMACKING IN INFANT RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA) IN RESPONSE TO VISUAL STIMULI

S. P. Perkins1,2, E. Feczko1, S. Huskisson1 and L. A. Parr1,3
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, 954 Gatewood Rd., Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA, 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, Center for Translational Social Neuroscience, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
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     Lipsmacking is an affiliative behavior present in macaques in the first few days of life. Tracking the expression of this social signal can help us understand the development of monkeys’ socio-emotional behavior. Cohorts of 11 (2012) and 10 (2013) infants were tested from the first week through 3 and 6 months, respectively. Infants were videotaped as they viewed static images and videos (10-20s) of conspecifics while their eye-movements were tracked. The frequency of lipsmacking and the stimuli eliciting this behavior were then scored. Results identified two peaks in the expression of lipsmacking, the first occurring around the 3rd week, and the second between the 15-17th weeks. Chi-squared analyses assessed whether these peaks in behavior exceeded that expected by chance, while controlling for the number of subjects tested each week. Significant differences were observed in the development of lipsmacks for both cohorts, e.g., 2012, X2=69.7, df=11, P < 0.001, and 2013, X2=26.5, df=13, P < 0.05. The bimodal distribution of lipsmacking might suggest the emergence of two systems involved in social communication, one early system that is reflexive and involuntary and a later system that is more volitional. Subsequent analyses will examine the type of stimuli that elicited lipsmacking during these periods, e.g., static and dynamic faces, familiar vs. unfamiliar faces, and same vs. other species’ faces.