Skip to main content
Log in

Nonhuman primates and psychoses

  • Published:
Journal of autism and childhood schizophrenia Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Studies using nonhuman primates have facilitated our understanding of human psychopathology and in particular have provided some models of abnormal behavior occurring in the young, developing organism. The theoretical linkages between abnormal behavior in rhesus monkeys and in human beings are discussed. Two research areas are cited as examples where experiments with monkeys have provided some reasonable models for human psychopathology. These two areas are total social isolation and disruption of affectional bonds between mothers and infants or between peers. Finally, the philosophical issues concerning the production of experimental psychopathology in animals are discussed and criteria presented to guide future research in this area.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Hamburg, D. A. (Ed.)Psychiatry as a behavioral science. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1970.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harlow, H. F., Dodsworth, R. O., & Harlow, M. K. Total social isolation in monkeys.Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, 1955,54, 90–97.

    Google Scholar 

  • Harlow, H. F., & Harlow, M. K. The affectional systems. In A. M. Schrier (Ed.),Behavior of nonhuman primates. Vol. 2. New York: Academic Press, 1965.

    Google Scholar 

  • Hinde, R. A., Spencer-Booth, Y., & Bruce, M. Effects of six-day maternal deprivation on rhesus monkey infants.Nature, 1966,210, 1021–1023.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Jensen, G. D., & Tolman, C. W. Mother-infant relationship in the monkey Macaca Nemestrina: The effect of brief separation and mother-infant specificity.Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, 1962,55, 131–136.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Kaufman, I. C., & Rosenblum, L. A. Depression in infant monkeys separated from their mothers.Seien ce, 1967,155, 1030–1031.

    Google Scholar 

  • Kubie, L. S. The concept of normality and neurosis. In M. Heiman (Ed.),Psychoanalysis and social work. New York: International Universities Press, 1953.

    Google Scholar 

  • Levy, D. M. Animal psychology in relation to psychiatry. In F. Alexander (Ed.),Dynamic psychiatry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1952.

    Google Scholar 

  • Liddell, H. S. Conditioning and emotions.Scientific American, 1954,190, 48–57.

    Google Scholar 

  • Masserman, J. H.Behavior and neurosis. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1943.

    Google Scholar 

  • McKinney, W. T., Jr., & Bunney, W. E. Animal model of depression: Review of evidence and implications for research.Archives of General Psychiatry, 1969,21, 240–248.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • McKinney, W. T., Jr., Suomi, S. J., & Harlow, H. F. Depression in primates.American Journal of Psychiatry, 1971,127, 49–56.

    Google Scholar 

  • Pavlov, I. V.Conditioned reflexes. London: Oxford University Press, 1927.

    Google Scholar 

  • Robertson, T., & Bowlby, J. Responses of young children to separation from their mothers.Cours du Centre International de l'Enfance, 1952,2, 131–142.

    Google Scholar 

  • Seay, W., & Harlow, H. F. Maternal separation in the rhesus monkey.Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1965,140, 434–441.

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  • Spitz, R. A. Anaclitic depression: An inquiry into the genesis of psychiatric conditions in early childhood. II.Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 1946,2, 313–342.

    Google Scholar 

  • Suomi, S. J., Harlow, H. F., & Domek, C. J. Effect of repetitive infant-infant separation of young monkeys.Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1970,76, 161–172.

    Google Scholar 

  • Suomi, S. J., Harlow, H. F., & McKinney, W. T., Jr. Monkey psychiatrists. Paper presented to the American Psychiatric Association, Washington, D. C. May 1971.

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Additional information

The work from the Wisconsin Primate Laboratory referred to in this paper was supported by grants MH-11894 and MH-18070 from the National Institute of Mental Health and by RR-0167 from the Division of Research Resources, National Institutes of Health. In addition, the writing of the paper was supported by MH-47353, a Research Scientist Development Award from the National Institute of Mental Health to Dr. McKinney.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Harlow, H.F., Mc Kinney, W.T. Nonhuman primates and psychoses. J Autism Dev Disord 1, 368–375 (1971).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: