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ABSTRACT: We have used nonhuman primates to examine developmental and behavioral correlates of CNS serotonergic activity, as measured by concentrations of the serotonin metabolite 5-hydroxyindoleacetic acid (5-HIAA) in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). These studies show that interindividual differences in CNS serotonin turnover rate exhibit traitlike qualities and are stable across time and settings, with interindividual differences in CSF 5-HIAA concentrations showing positive correlations across repeated sampling. Primates with low CNS serotonergic activity exhibit behaviors indicative of impaired impulse control, unrestrained aggression, social isolation, and low social dominance. Maternal and paternal genetic influences play major roles in producing low CNS serotonin functioning, beginning early in life. These genetic influences on serotonin functioning are further influenced by early rearing experiences, particularly parental deprivation.