The function of the central nervous system neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT) contributes to individual differences in impulsive behavior in humans and nonhuman primates. We investigated the relationship between 5-HT function and behavioral responses to a novel social scenario in marmosets. In the first study, marmosets (n = 10) were treated orally with fluoxetine HCl (FLX) or vehicle for two trial periods and exposed to a novel conspecific for a 20-min trial following each treatment. Levels of behavioral inhibition in response to a novel conspecific were quantified. The animals exhibited less inhibition toward the novel conspecific following the 14-day FLX treatment than they did following the vehicle treatment. In the second study we first characterized the parameters of the marmoset peripheral 5-HT system and further assessed the relationship between natural variation in peripheral 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels with behavioral inhibition in response to a novel conspecific (n = 14). Individual peripheral 5-HT and 5-HIAA levels were higher in animals that exhibited more inhibition in response toward the stranger. We conclude that serotonergic influences play a role in behavioral response to a novel conspecific in marmosets.
- Social inhibition
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
- Animal Science and Zoology