Increased rigidity with age in social behavior of Java-monkeys (Macaca fascicularis)

H.C. Veenema, J.A.R.A.M. van Hooff, W.H. Gispen, B.M. Spruijt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this study we investigated the effect of aging on the structure of behavior of socially housed Java-monkeys. Indices of the sequential structure of an animal's own ongoing behavior and of its responses to behavior of other animals were calculated using an information statistic approach. These indices reflect information-processing abilities of an animal, as they represent the ability of an animal to adjust its behavior in response to actions by interaction partners. The influence of an animal's dominance history on the age-related changes was investigated as well. In the literature social subordinance in monkeys is generally associated with elevated levels of cortisol which, in turn, have been suggested to influence information processing abilities. In this study, old animals of low dominance history became more rigid in their own ongoing behavior, whereas old animals of high dominance history did not differ from young animals. The ability of old animals to maintain normal levels of predictability during social interactions declined, but only in social interactions with unfamiliar animals, such as young or unrelated animals. These results may explain the generally found social withdrawal of old non-human primates.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-281
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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