Maternal recognition of individual infant squirrel monkeys from isolation call playbacks

Authors

  • Dr. D. Symmes,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland
    • Building T-18 (NIHAC), NIH, Bethesda, MD 20205
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  • M. Biben

    1. Laboratory of Comparative Ethology, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Bethesda, Maryland
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Abstract

Responses of six squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus) mothers to playback of a single call type, the “isolation peep,” made by their own infants were tested after mothers and infants had been separated for more than a week. The playback tapes were edited from tapes containing mixed vocal material recorded when infants and mothers could see but not touch each other. Mothers showed recognition of their own infants compared to other familiar infants by increases in four measures of proximity to the speaker. These data provide evidence that maternal recognition of infants by means of acoustic cues is possible when the test stimuli consist of examples of a single call type with demonstrated individuality.

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