Abstract # 126:

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


SOCIAL EXPERIENCE PREDICTS SOCIAL PREFERENCE IN MACACA MULATTA

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
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     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.