Abstract # 43:

Scheduled for Thursday, August 18, 2005 03:45 PM-04:00 PM: Session 6 (Crystal Ballroom) Oral Presentation

Behavioral and physiological measures of temperament in captive tufted capuchins (Cebus apella)

K. E. Miller1, K. Laszlo1, M. Laudenslager2, S. Lindell1, R. Woodward1 and S. Suomi1
1NICHD/NIH, LCE/NICHD, NIH Animal Center, PO Box 529, Poolesville, MD 20837, USA, 2Univ. of Colorado HSC
     Differences in temperament (impulsive vs. inhibited) have been linked to individual variation in serotonergic activity for several Old World species of primates (e.g., vervets, cynomologus monkeys). Temperament has rarely been examined in New World species. Our objective was to assess temperament behaviorally and physiologically in Cebus apella (n = 24). For the behavioral assessment, we measured latency to approach an intruder (February-April 2004). For the physiological assessment, we compared prolactin levels after an injection of saline (control) and after an injection of fenfluramine (March 2005). Fenfluramine increases serotonergic activity by causing a release in serotonin stores, which stimulates the release of prolactin. We examined age, sex and rank differences within the behavioral and physiological assessments of temperament. In the behavioral assessment, we found no difference in average latency to approach an intruder among age categories (16 adults vs. 6 juveniles) or rank categories (10 high vs. 12 low). Average latency to approach an intruder varied with sex, such that males had significantly shorter latencies than females (Mann-Whitney test, U = 20.0, P = 0.002, 13 males, 11 females). Qualitative results from a pilot study of other adult capuchins (n = 4 males, 1 female) indicated that low-ranking animals had twice the prolactin levels of high-ranking animals. Preliminary results emphasize the importance of multiple assessments of temperament and indicate that sex and rank may be related to temperament in a New World species.