Contrasts in visual responsiveness and emotional arousal between rhesus monkeys raised with living and those raised with inanimate substitute mothers

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Abstract

Studied the nature of rearing effects in 3 experiments with 18 rhesus monkeys separated from their mothers within 24 hrs of birth. Ss were then raised with dogs or inanimate surrogates in outdoor cages, which provided them with complex, highly varied visual surroundings. Visual responsiveness to a variety of colored transparencies was investigated and completed when Ss were between 18 and 30 mo old. Results indicate that the frequency and duration of looking at slides was significantly higher for dog-raised than for inanimate-surrogate-raised Ss and that dog-raised Ss were much more responsive to the novelty, complexity, and mode of presentation of the stimulus materials. Measures of emotional arousal were obtained during Exp III. Heart rate, vocalization, and changes in plasma cortisol were higher for Ss raised with dogs. The frequency of most self-directed behaviors, however, was higher for Ss raised with inanimate surrogates. Differences between rearing groups can only be the result of contrasts in attributes of the substitute mothers. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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