Heart rate patterns under stress in three species of macaques

Authors

  • A. Susan Clarke,

    1. Department of Psychology and California Regional Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis
    Current affiliation:
    1. Harlow Primate Laboratory, University of Wisconsin, 22 N. Charter Street, Madison, WI 53715
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  • William A. Mason,

    1. Department of Psychology and California Regional Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis
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  • Sally P. Mendoza

    1. Department of Psychology and California Regional Primate Research Center, University of California, Davis
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Abstract

Cardiac responses during one hour exposures to three stressful experimental conditions were compared among juvenile females of three species of the genus Macaca (M. mulatta, M. radiata, and M. fascicularis). M. fascicularis showed the highest overall heart rate, and M. mulatta the lowest, in all three conditions. The principal difference between species was in the pattern of change in heart rate over the test sessions. Heart rate declined during the hour for all three species in the first two conditions (home cage novel environment), and the change was most rapid in M. mulatta and slowest in M. fascicularis. In the third and most stressful condition (physical restraint), each species showed a distinct temporal pattern. Heart rate increased over the hour in M. fascicularis, declined in M. radiata, and increased rapidly then declined gradually in M. mulatta. Individual differences in heart rate tended to be consistent within and across conditions. Correlations between behavioral measures of somatic activity and heart rate were generally modest. The results are in accord with other behavioral and physiological differences obtained for the same subjects, and suggest that responses to environmental stimuli reflect fundamental aspects of temperament that may vary substantially even among closely related species. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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