Abstract # 7:

Scheduled for Saturday, August 26, 2017 06:00 PM-08:00 PM: (National Ballroom AB) Poster Presentation


VALIDATION OF EXPERIMENTAL METHODS TO MEASURE EXPLORATION IN CAPTIVE GOLDEN LION TAMARINS (LEONTOPITHECUS ROSALIA)

J. Jahn, M. Keener, B. Frye and L. G. Rapaport
Clemson University, 132 Long Hall, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson, SC 29634, USA
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Assays of exploratory behavior often involve exposing animals to novel foods, objects, or environments. However, the assumption that such protocols actually measure a single dimension of behavior is seldom tested. Here we exposed 27 (14 female, 13 male) captive golden lion tamarins (Leontopithecus rosalia) to novel foods and objects to systematically compare behavior across contexts. We recorded individuals’ responses to experimental stimuli and calculated investigation, activity, and agitation scores for each animal. We used intraclass correlation coefficients to measure within-individual repeatability of behavior and generalized linear mixed models (GLMM) to examine the relationships among behavior scores. Preliminary results reveal that monkeys responded consistently toward foods (r = 0.47, p = 1.22 e-05) but not objects (r = 0.02, p = 0.27). Those exhibiting the greatest levels of investigation also were the most active (GLMM: β = 0.04 ± 0.01, t25 = 3.82, p < 0.001). However, investigation and agitation was unrelated (GLMM: β = 0.01 ± 0.01, t37 = 0.39, p = 0.70). Activity was positively correlated across contexts (β = 0.51, p = 0.02), but agitation and investigation were not (β = 0.02, p = 0.94; β = 0.16, p = 0.48, respectively). These results indicate that tamarins differ in the repeatability of behavior and that some behaviors are correlated. These results also confirm that assumptions of independence should be tested for behavioral assays.