Abstract # 5954 Poster # 63:

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


CHIMPANZEE SOCIAL TOLERANCE AND POSSIBLE GENETIC INFLUENCES OF THE VASOPRESSIN V1A RECEPTOR GENE

S. L. Bogart1,2, J. L. Russell2,3, L. A. Reamer4, M. C. Mareno4, S. J. Schapiro4 and W. D. Hopkins2,3
1Lawrence University, Department of Anthropology, 711 E. Boldt Way, Appleton, Wisconsin 54911, USA, 2Neuroscience Institute and Language Research Center, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia 30302, 3Division of Developmental and Cognitive Neuroscience, Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, 4Department of Veterinary Sciences, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Bastrop, Texas 78602
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     Recent research has revealed an association between social behaviors in mammals and the arginine vasopressin V1a receptor gene (AVPR1A). Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) show a polymorphism in the RS3 region with some individuals recessive (DupB-/-) or dominant for the DupB allele. Dominant homozygous individuals are rare and lumped with heterozygotes as subjects that express the dominant genotype (DupB+). Here, we examined the association between the DupB polymorphism and social tolerance variables in a chimpanzee prosocial experiment with 99 subjects (58 females and 41 males, 55 DupB-/- and 44 DupB+). Each focal subject was provided a sharable resource (bag of carrots) while in their social groups. Over the course of each subject’s trial the number of subjects within touching distance (proximity) to the focal was recorded every 30 seconds and an average was calculated. DupB+ males had a significantly higher tolerance of more individuals within proximity than all other chimpanzees, F(1,99) = 4.06, p < 0.05. However, DupB-/- males tolerated food theft from a greater number of individuals significantly more than all other subjects, F(1,98) = 4.19, p < 0.05. This latter finding was not expected but implies that other factors may play a role in prosocial behaviors, such as dominance. In conclusion, our results suggest that chimpanzees with the DupB dominant genotype are more socially tolerant, at least as defined by social proximity.