Abstract # 165:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 04:45 PM-05:00 PM: (Cascade H) Oral Presentation


M. A. Truelove1, A. L. Martin1,2 and M. A. Bloomsmith1
1Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA, 2School of Psychology, Georgia Institute of Technology
     Strategies to mitigate the development of abnormal behavior in nursery-reared monkeys include refinement of existing rearing procedures. We examined the development of abnormal behavior in three different nurseries at Yerkes. In comparison to the standard nursery (SN, n=48) subjects, alternate nursery 1 (AN1, n=9) subjects were reared with more human handling and earlier conspecific social contact; alternate nursery 2 (AN2, n=8) subjects experienced earlier social contact and rotational pair housing, and were provided semi-mobile artificial surrogates. The presence or absence of abnormal behaviors was recorded during at least three observations per week from arrival in the nursery until six months of age. Data were analyzed to determine whether the different rearing techniques influenced the prevalence of abnormal behaviors. At age six months, 32% of the subjects had exhibited at least one abnormal behavior. The most common abnormal behaviors were self-directed stereotypies (29%), such as rocking and self-clasping, and floating limb (11%). A significantly greater percentage of monkeys in the SN developed abnormal behaviors (44%) as compared with the other two nurseries (AN1=0%, AN2=13%) (chi square (2) = 8.34, p=0.015). Results will be used to further improve nursery rearing practices to minimize the emergence of abnormal behavior. Since abnormal behaviors are difficult to treat after initial onset, prevention of their development by refining management practices is desirable.