Abstract # 8045 Event # 196:

Scheduled for Monday, August 28, 2017 01:15 PM-01:30 PM: (National Ballroom Salon A) Oral Presentation


EFFECTS OF MATERNAL-INFANT GAZING ON INFANT NEUROBEHAVIORAL DEVELOPMENT IN SOCIALLY HOUSED RHESUS MACAQUES (MACACA MULATTA)

A. M. Murphy1,2, K. L. Byers2, L. J. Wooddell1,2, M. Miller2, S. J. Suomi2 and A. M. Dettmer2
1University of California, Davis, One Shields Ave., Davis, California 95616, USA, 2National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
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     An increasing number of studies are examining the effect of mother-infant interactions on infants’ development. Current studies have shown relationships between rates of mother-infant mutual gazing and infants’ sociality, as well as hair cortisol concentrations at weaning. This study aimed to examine the effect of mutual gazing on infants’ neurobehavioral development. Face-to-face interactions between rhesus macaque mother-infant dyads (N=20, 12 male) were observed 3x/week for the first 30 days of life. In addition, each infant was administered the Primate Neonatal Neurobehavioral Assessment (PNNA) on days 14±2 and 30±2 postnatal. Composite scores were generated using the results of the PNNA to assess specific neurobehavioral developments. Infants who engaged in higher rates of mutual gaze (MG) scored higher on PNNA Attention tasks (r=0.453, p=0.045) while infants with lower rates of MG (r=-0.496, p=0.026) scored higher on Body Control tasks. Due to the known sex bias rhesus macaque mothers exhibit in face-to-face interactions, we chose to examine the relationship between gazing and neurobehavioral development separately for sons and daughters. Sons with higher rates of MG scored lower in both Body Control (r=-0.673, p=0.016) and Activity (r=-0.642, p=0.024) tasks, while daughters with higher rates of MG scored higher in Sensorimotor (r=0.868, p=0.005), Attention (r=0.949, p=0.000), and Reflex (r=0.719, p=0.044) tasks. These data, along with the existing literature, further define the link between differential maternal investment and infant developmental outcomes.