Effects of Prior Experience with Infants on Behavior Shown to Unfamiliar Infants by Nulliparous Rhesus Monkeys
Group-living nulliparous primates are strongly attracted to, and, when opportunities arise, will touch, groom, hold, cradle, and carry neonates in their group (rhesus monkeys — Hinde et al. 1964; langurs — Jay 1962). Whether these interactions provide practice with infants for young females so that eventually they will display adequate care to their own babies is conjectural. In the present study we have attempted to evaluate the influence of prior experience with neonates and infants by comparing the behavioral responses displayed by two groups of differently socially-reared nulliparous rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) to young infants.
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