Abstract # 5886 Poster # 50:

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


E. S. Rothwell1,2,3, S. B. Carp2, S. M. Freeman2, E. Ferrer1,4 and K. L. Bales1,2,3,4
1University of California, Davis, One Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center, 3Animal Behavior Graduate Group, 4Psychology Department
     The partner preference test is a behavioral paradigm used in rodents to quantify social preference. An analogous testing paradigm for socially monogamous primates has not yet been developed and validated. The goal of this study was to establish an adapted primate partner preference test using socially monogamous titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus). Twelve pairs of monkeys were tested in a three-chambered apparatus for three hours. The test subject was placed in the middle chamber with its pair-mate on one side and an opposite sex stranger on the other. The test animal was separated from the two stimulus animals by a grated window and we recorded the duration of time that the test animal spent in proximity with and touching each window. All monkeys spent significantly more time near the partner’s window compared to the stranger [t = 3.88; p < .001] but time touching either window did not differ [W = 335; n.s.]. A dyadic mixed model analysis revealed partner preference did not change during the test. We found that females, but not males, spent significantly more time near the stranger’s window as the test progressed [t = 2.43; p = 0.017]. Partner preference was not influenced by the stimulus animals’ proximities to the windows. This validated partner preference test can now be utilized to quantitatively measure social preference in a variety of primate species.