Presentation Title

Marmosets’ response to inequity following manipulation of the oxytocin system

Advisor Information

Jeffrey French

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

7-3-2014 10:15 AM

End Date

7-3-2014 10:30 AM

Abstract

One of the foremost properties of human cooperation is the egalitarian sharing of resources when, for example, one prefers to share resources in a way that provides neither an advantageous nor a disadvantageous outcome to themselves or others. This preference is known as inequity aversion. Recent attention has focused on the extent and context for which nonhuman primates respond to inequitable outcomes. Because primates exhibit diverse social structures and cognitive abilities, studying responses to inequity across many species will help elucidate functions and contexts for which inequity aversion may have evolved. Potential neuroendocrine mechanisms for inequity aversion in nonhuman primates have also yet to be explored. Across mammals, oxytocin is an important neuropeptide in the regulation and monitoring of social affiliation, social cognition, and interpretation of social signals. Consequently, oxytocin emerges as a leading candidate for a central neuroendocrine mechanism underlying cooperative behaviors like inequity aversion. In this study, we examined how oxytocin agonists and antagonists influence food sharing and social behavior in opposite-sex marmoset dyads. Experiments assessed marmoset’s social behavior and provisioning of food in equitable and inequitable outcomes to themselves, their long-term partner, or opposite-sex strangers, and by administering oxytocin agonists, antagonists, and controls, we were able to examine whether oxytocin would influence the propensity to share food with others in cases of both equity and inequity. The results suggest that marmosets are not sensitive to inequity aversion in general, but food sharing and social behavior are influenced by social context (partner type and presence) and oxytocin treatment.

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Mar 7th, 10:15 AM Mar 7th, 10:30 AM

Marmosets’ response to inequity following manipulation of the oxytocin system

UNO Criss Library, Room 231

One of the foremost properties of human cooperation is the egalitarian sharing of resources when, for example, one prefers to share resources in a way that provides neither an advantageous nor a disadvantageous outcome to themselves or others. This preference is known as inequity aversion. Recent attention has focused on the extent and context for which nonhuman primates respond to inequitable outcomes. Because primates exhibit diverse social structures and cognitive abilities, studying responses to inequity across many species will help elucidate functions and contexts for which inequity aversion may have evolved. Potential neuroendocrine mechanisms for inequity aversion in nonhuman primates have also yet to be explored. Across mammals, oxytocin is an important neuropeptide in the regulation and monitoring of social affiliation, social cognition, and interpretation of social signals. Consequently, oxytocin emerges as a leading candidate for a central neuroendocrine mechanism underlying cooperative behaviors like inequity aversion. In this study, we examined how oxytocin agonists and antagonists influence food sharing and social behavior in opposite-sex marmoset dyads. Experiments assessed marmoset’s social behavior and provisioning of food in equitable and inequitable outcomes to themselves, their long-term partner, or opposite-sex strangers, and by administering oxytocin agonists, antagonists, and controls, we were able to examine whether oxytocin would influence the propensity to share food with others in cases of both equity and inequity. The results suggest that marmosets are not sensitive to inequity aversion in general, but food sharing and social behavior are influenced by social context (partner type and presence) and oxytocin treatment.