Abstract # 19:

Scheduled for Saturday, September 13, 2014 01:45 PM-02:00 PM: Session 6 (Henry Oliver)


J. H. Taylor1,2,3 and J. A. French1,2,3,4
1University of Nebraska - Omaha, Department of Psychology, AH 524, 6001 Dodge Street, Omaha, Nebraska 68182, USA, 2Callitrichid Research Center, 3Endocrine Bioservices Lab, 4Department of Biology
     The first, and perhaps most important relationship in an individual’s life is between the infant and the caregiver, and this relationship serves as the benchmark for future relationships. Marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) offer a valuable model of human familial relationships; male marmosets participate in infant care, and are highly interested in infants. The neuropeptides oxytocin(OT) and vasopressin(AVP) have been implicated in a wide range of social behavior, including parental behavior in humans and rodents. This study examined the neuropeptide and sex steroid mechanisms of parental behavior in marmosets. We hypothesized that if neuropeptides facilitate parental behavior, then OT and AVP would increase, and receptor antagonists(OTA/AVPA) would decrease responsiveness to infant stimuli. Also, we hypothesized that if AVP has a sex-specific effect in marmosets, then males will show greater sensitivity to AVP administration than females. Marmosets (6M,6F) were treated with OT, AVP, or receptor antagonist, and then exposed to a simulated abandoned infant paradigm. Neuropeptide treatment significantly affected investigation of the infant stimuli, and this depended on recent experience with infant stimuli (F(4,40)=2.69,p=.044). Marmosets investigated infant and control stimuli equally during the first trial, but during the second trial marmosets treated with AVP and OTA investigated infant stimuli significantly more (t(11)=-2.58,-3.17,p<.05). This indicates that neuropeptide manipulations affect parental responsiveness in marmosets, and that there may be important interactions with short-term experience. Supported by NIH(HD042882) and UNO(GRACA).