Mobility of surrogate mothers and persistent neophobia in cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)
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In search of the relevant difference between mother rearing and surrogate rearing with respect to the emergence of neophobic behavior in macaques, we tested the hypothesis that mobility of surrogate mothers prevents the development of neophobic behavior in cynomolgus macaques. The experimental group consisted of ten surrogate-reared subjects which during their first year got rides on surrogate mothers moving through the cage. The control group consisted of nine subjects reared with immobile surrogate mothers. Between the age of 7 and 27 months the reactions to two different novel objects were tested. First exposure to one object occurred at 6 months of age and to the other object at 20 months. The kind of object and the age of first exposure made no difference. Contrary to our expectations mobility of surrogates did not affect the incidence of neophobia: most subjects in both groups persistently avoided the objects. This finding seems to support Hofer's hypothesis that the mother acts as a regulator of the infant's behavior and physiology.
Key WordsMacaca fascicularis Mobile surrogates Development Neophobia Exploration
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