Abstract # 98:

Scheduled for Thursday, June 18, 2015 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (Cascade AJBCD) Poster Presentation


V. Sclafani1, L. Del Rosso1, L. Calonder1, E. H. Sherr2, J. P. Capitanio1 and K. J. Parker3
1California National Primate Research Center, University of California Davis, Davis, CA 95616, USA, 2Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA., 3Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.
     Rhesus monkeys show stable and pronounced individual differences in sociability, which reflect their motivation and competence to engage in social interactions with others. Low-sociable compared to high-sociable monkeys initiate and receive fewer affiliative interactions, spend less time in proximity and grooming with other animals, and display more inappropriate social behaviors, suggesting both lower motivation and poorer social skills. The goal of the present study was to examine whether individual differences in the early ability to process social information would be predictive of monkeys’ social competence later in life. Two putative predictors – looking response to video playback of a conspecific displaying both aggressive and nonsocial behaviors, and a preferential looking task to assess visual recognition memory – were examined in a sample of 50 male rhesus macaques when subjects were 90–120 days of age. Logistic regression analysis [chi2(2)= 8.842, p= .012, R2= .26] revealed that infant subjects which showed a greater ability to discriminate among different social signals, and therefore to modulate their looking behavior accordingly, were later classified as high-sociable. Moreover, the enhanced ability to recognize a novel stimulus in infancy was associated with being later classified as high-sociable. Our findings suggest that an early capacity to process important social information may account for differences in monkey’s motivation and competence to establish and maintain social interactions later in life.