Abstract # 126:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 03:00 PM-03:15 PM: Session 20 (Henry Oliver) Oral Presentation


E. Bliss-Moreau1, G. Moadab1, A. Santistevan 1,2 and D. Amaral1
1University of California, Davis, California National Primate Research Center, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2Columbia University
     We investigated the extent to which primates prefer social stimuli, as compared to equally engaging non-social stimuli, and individual differences in that preference. Monkeys completed a preference task during which they chose to view 30-second videos of conspecifics or nature documentary footage by looking at one of two patterned (Study 1) or colored (Study 2) squares on a computer screen. Subjects’ social behavior with their pair-mates was recorded using a focal sampling technique (Study 1: 10 5-minute samples after preference testing; Study 2: 20 5-minute samples before preference testing). We tested four adult males (15 days; 60 trials/day) in Study 1. The group evidenced a significant preference for social information, 60% social videos selected, binomial exact test, p<0.001, after learning which square led to social stimuli. Animals who generated more pro-social behaviors had less preference for social stimuli, r=-0.97, p<0.029. Study 2 was part of a larger study investigating the role of the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) in social and affective behavior. Study 2 replicated the effect found in Study 1 (N=7 controls; N=6 with ACC damage; 5 days; 40 trials/day), r=-0.49, p=0.046. Only control animals showed a significant preference for social information (control: t(6)=2.86, p=0.029; 0.63% social videos selected; ACC: t(6)=.023, p=0.827; 0.51% social videos selected). These results suggest that, like humans, monkeys with less engaging real-world social relationships might fulfill social needs artificially.