Abstract # 180:

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


M. Collantes, E. Feczko, J. Brooks, T. Heitz and L. A. Parr
Yerkes National Primate Res. Ctr., Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30329, USA
     From birth, human infants undergo several critical periods in their development of social attention, including experience-dependent changes in attention to faces. Less is known about whether infant monkeys share similar developmental changes. We tracked longitudinally the visual attention of twenty infant monkeys in 2013 (N=10) and 2014 (N=10) using eye-tracking. Fourteen testing sessions were conducted between the first and 23 weeks of life. For this study, we report the infants’ attention when viewing videos of unfamiliar female rhesus macaques and their young infants. The percentage of total viewing was analyzed using hierarchical linear modelling where age was a random effect and region of interest (mom vs infant’s face and body) was the dependent variable. The 2013 cohort showed a significant linear interaction between age and region of interest, F(1,128) = 6.73, p< 0.01. From the first week of life, infants preferred to look at the infant’s vs female’s face (34% vs 23%), but this decreased over time to 7% in week 23, while attention to the female’s face increased to 31% of the total viewing time. The switch in preference occurred after week 7. No differences were found in time spent viewing bodies, or nonsocial video content. These results demonstrate experience-dependent changes in infant monkeys’ attention to faces over the first few months of life that is similar to patterns found in human infants.