Abstract # 6224 Poster # 174:

Scheduled for Friday, June 19, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT PREDICTS TEMPERAMENT OF INFANT RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

S. G. Anderson1, S. A. Aston1, J. D. Higley1 and J. P. Capitanio2
1Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah 84602, USA, 2California National Primate Research Center
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     Research shows that infant temperament is related to childhood, adolescent, and to some extent, adult social competence. Because infant temperament is thought to be the foundation for personality and competent functioning, it is important to understand factors modulating the development of infant temperament. Data was collected using a biobehavioral assessment developed at the California National Primate Research Center to measure behavior and temperament for infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta). Infants were scored on 16 temperamental traits, which were incorporated into four temperament scales derived through factor analysis to assess for human-like traits:. confidence, gentleness, nervousness, and vigilance. Our goal was to measure whether infant temperament is modulated by variation in social environments (measured by variation in home cage settings). Subjects were reared in one of 22 large open field cages that houses 100 to 150 rhesus monkeys, and approximates the natural setting for rhesus monkeys. We hypothesized that infants would display temperaments that varied according to the field-cage in which they were reared. ANOVA showed that the cage social environment was significantly related to infant temperament across each of the temperamental traits measured (p<0.0009, p<0.0009, p<0.0009, p<0.001). While genetic influences cannot be ruled out, our findings suggest that the social environment influences temperament and likely predicts future behavior.