Effects of aggressive temperament on oxytocin in titi monkeys

For our Fall, 2019 Hot Topics, we are featuring the research of Lynea Witczak, a PhD candidate in the Department of Psychology at the University of California, Davis who studies titi monkeys at the California National Primate Research Center. Titi monkeys are socially monogamous primates that live in the Amazon basin. Forming pair bonds is extremely important to the wellbeing of titi monkeys both in the wild and in captivity, especially since pair-mates can help buffer against the negative consequences of stress. Both affiliative and agonistic behaviors play a role in maintaining pair bonds, and oxytocin has been shown to be necessary for maintaining monogamy. In the study featured here, recently published in American Journal of Primatology, Ms. Witczak and colleagues investigated the relationship between oxytocin and aggressive behavior in titi monkeys. Understanding the factors underpinning pair bonding in captive primates and how individuals react to social stressors is critical to improving welfare, as an aggressive temperament can influence how partners interact with one another. To learn more about the relationship between an aggressive temperament and oxytocin in male titi monkeys, watch a video presentation about this research narrated by Ms. Witczak (transcript for the video available here).

For more information, contact Lynea Witczak at lrwitczak@ucdavis.edu

Cite this work:Witczak LR, Ferrer E, Bales KL. 2018. Effects of aggressive temperament on endogenous oxytocin levels in adult titi monkeys. American Journal of Primatology 80(10):e22907. DOI: 10.1002/ajp.22907