Social buffering in adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): Effects of stressful events in single vs. pair housing
Article first published online: 8 SEP 2010
© 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S
Journal of Medical Primatology
Volume 40, Issue 2, pages 71–78, April 2011
How to Cite
Gilbert, M. H. and Baker, K. C. (2011), Social buffering in adult male rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta): Effects of stressful events in single vs. pair housing. Journal of Medical Primatology, 40: 71–78. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0684.2010.00447.x
- Issue published online: 3 MAR 2011
- Article first published online: 8 SEP 2010
- Accepted August 9, 2010.
Background The purpose of this study was to test whether long-term pair housing of male rhesus macaques ameliorated negative responses to stressful events that can occur in the course of routine husbandry or research procedures.
Methods Twelve singly housed individuals were videotaped during two potentially stressful events before and after social introduction into pairs. During each stressor, abnormal behavior and anxiety-related behavior were quantified from videotape.
Results When visually exposed to the restraint and anesthesia of other monkeys, subjects showed significantly reduced frequencies of abnormal behavior when pair-housed in comparison to their reactions when housed singly. Noisy and disruptive conversation between technicians standing immediately in front of the subjects’ cage did not elicit the same reduction in abnormal behavior. Neither test showed a significant difference across housing settings for anxiety-related behaviors.
Conclusions These findings suggest that pair housing buffers adult male rhesus macaques against common stressors in the laboratory setting.