Abstract # 6063 Poster # 165:

Scheduled for Sunday, September 14, 2014 07:00 PM-09:00 PM: Session 22 (Decatur B) Poster Presentation


D. I. Sharpe1,2, T. L. Vratanina Smoot3, D. Guzman2,4, K. McCormack2,5, B. R. Howell2,6,7,8, J. Bachevalier2,9 and M. M. Sanchez2,6,7,8
1University of Georgia, Department of Psychology, Athens, GA 30602, USA, 2Yerkes National Primate Research Center, 3Olivet College, 4Emory Graduate Neuroscience Program, 5Spelman College, 6Center for Translational Social Neuroscience, Emory Univ, 7Center for Behavioral Neuroscience, Emory Univ, 8Dept of Psychiatry & Behavior Sciences, Emory Univ, 9Dept of Psychology, Emory Univ
     We used a translational animal model of maternal maltreatment to explore prefrontal cortex (PFC)-mediated cognitive consequences in juvenile rhesus macaques. Associations between quality of maternal care and cognitive task performance were measured. At 18 months of age, rhesus monkeys (n = 36) cross-fostered at birth to either maltreating or competent mothers were assessed in a battery of cognitive tasks including: (1)Object Retrieval Detour (ORD) task to evaluate impulsivity and cognitive flexibility, and (2)Delayed-Non-Matching-to-Sample Session Unique (DNMS-SU) task to evaluate working memory. On the ORD task, animals that experienced high rates of maternal rejection early in life were more likely to ‘balk’ (subject stops responding) following a failed initial attempt on a trial, r = .362, p = .033, while those raised by more responsive and restraining mothers exhibited increased Day 1 latencies, r = .409, p = .015; r = .339, p = .046. On the DNMS-SU task, animals that experienced more abuse and restraint committed more errors to criterion, r = .637, p = .003; r = .578, p = .008. Our results suggest that while juveniles with sensitive and restraining mothers may show hesitance to initially approach novel cognitive tasks, their cognitive performance is not compromised; rhesus offspring of abusive and rejecting mothers, on the other hand, display compromised performance on PFC-dependent cognitive tasks and show evidence for stress-related decreases in motivation.