Abstract # 6087 Event # 178:

Scheduled for Monday, September 15, 2014 08:45 AM-09:45 AM: Session 23 (Decatur A) Featured Speaker


BECOMING A FATHER CHANGES EVERYTHING: THE BEHAVIORAL NEUROENDOCRINOLOGY OF PARENTING IN MALE MARMOSETS AND TAMARINS

T. E. Ziegler
Wisconsin National Primate Res. Ctr., Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI 53715, USA
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     As with mothers, becoming a father comes with many physical, endocrine and neural changes. There are short-term and life-time changes exhibited by neural plasticity, increased responsiveness to infant stimuli, and endocrine changes reflective of and initiating paternal behavior. The common marmoset, Callithrix jacchus, and the cotton-top tamarin, Saguinus oedipus, provide excellent models for understanding the onset of fatherhood and the motivation to parent. Studies with these two species have allowed us to examine the neuroendocrine changes occurring with fatherhood. Males gain experience from being a father and are more responsive to infant stimuli. Becoming a father and exhibiting hormonal and behavioral responses towards infants is not automatic but appears to require sensory interactions between the male, his pregnant mate and their infants. As with all social interactions, variability exists between fathers in their motivation to parent and this variability provides us with a source for determining the factors involved in becoming a good father.