1Department of Psychology, UC-Davis, 2California National Primate Research Center, UC-Davis, 3Center for Molecular and Genomic Imaging, UC-Davis
Thursday 4:15-4:30, Ballroom B
Understanding the neurobiology of social bonding in non-human primates is a critical step in understanding the evolution of monogamy. Titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus) form strong pair-bonds, characterized by selective preference for their pair-mate, mate-guarding, physiological and behavioral agitation upon separation, and social buffering. In the current study, we used functional imaging to examine how males viewing their pair-mate in close proximity to a rival male would induce “jealousy” and change central glucose uptake. Animals were injected with 1 mCi/kg of [F-18]-fluorodeoxyglucose, returned to their cage for 30 min of conscious uptake, placed under anesthesia, and then scanned for 1 hour on a microPET P4 primate scanner. During the uptake period, males (n = 8) had a view of either their pair-mate next to a stranger male (“jealousy” condition) or a stranger female next to a stranger male (control condition). Positron emission tomography was co-registered with structural magnetic resonance imaging. Mixed-models analysis found that the left lateral septum and right posterior cingulate cortex showed higher glucose uptake in the jealousy condition compared to the control condition (p<0.05). The lateral septum has been shown to be involved in mate-guarding and mating-induced aggression in monogamous rodents, while the cingulate cortex has been linked to territoriality. There was a trend for higher left caudate uptake in the “jealousy” condition (p<0.10). Left caudate activity was also positively correlated with duration and frequency of lipsmacking (affiliative) behavior during the uptake period. Putamen (another part of the “reward system”) activity was also correlated with lipsmacking behavior.
This research supported by NIH HD053555, Office of Research Infrastructure Programs, grant P51OD011107, and the Good Nature Institute.