Maternal Separation Alters Later Consumption of Novel Liquids in the Squirrel Monkey

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The consumption of novel, fruit-flavored drinks was measured in juvenile squirrel monkeys that had either had their mother removed from the home cage for 2 h on 80 occasions prior to weaning or had not undergone this separation procedure. Among previously separated animals, males drank more than did females during the first 30 min following presentation, whereas there was no difference in the drinking of nonseparated males and females at this time. Further, the amount of liquid consumed during the 20 h following presentation increased across days of exposure in the nonseparated, but not in the previously separated monkeys. These results show that brief maternal separation can affect the later behavior of squirrel monkeys, and are consistent with findings in rhesus macaques that maternal separation alters later exploratory behavior.



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