Abstract # 2:

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


M. E. DeLorenzo1, T. A. Brown1, C. Schultz1, B. M. Frye1, L. G. Rapaport1 and S. Tardif2
1Clemson University, Department of Biological Sciences, Clemson, SC 29634, USA, 2Southwest National Primate Research Center, San Antonio, TX

Protocols designed to measure exploratory behavior often involve exposing animals to novel foods, objects, or environments. However, the assumption that these assays actually measure a single dimension of behavior is seldom tested. Here we exposed 46 (39 female, 7 male) captive common marmosets (Callithrix jacchus) to novel foods and objects to systematically compare behavior across contexts. We recorded individuals’ responses to experimental stimuli and generated 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 to examine the relationships among different behavior scores. Preliminary results reveal that monkeys responded consistently toward objects (link scale r = 0.32, p = 0.05) but not foods (link scale r = 0.010, p = 0.50). Levels of investigation, activity, and anxiety were independent. Activity was positively correlated across contexts (ρ = 0.795, p = 0.0007), whereas agitation and investigation were not (ρ = -0.23, p = 0.43, ρ = 0.15, p = 0.60, respectively). These results indicate that marmosets exhibit inter-individual differences in repeatability of behavior and this measure depends on context. What is more, marmosets may exhibit behavioral syndromes. Lastly, these results corroborate previous findings that suggest that behavioral assays should be tested for independence in order to confirm behaviors of interest are actually being measured.