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Title:New research reveals monkey mothers interact with their infant babies in much the same way human mom
Duration:02:22
Viewed:65,589
Published:23-07-2015
Source:Youtube

HEADLINE: Monkey Moms 'Go Gaga' for their babies, too
CAPTION: New research reveals monkey mothers interact with their infant babies in much the same way human moms do. The AP's Kelly Daschle reports from the NIH Animal Center in Maryland. (date) Oct. 8, 2009
[Notes:ANCHOR VOICE]
NB. THIS IS A VOICEOVER TRANSCRIPT, NOT A FULL SHOT LIST.
Primate researchers have long known that monkey infants and their mothers share an intense bond in the first few weeks of life.
But what they didn't know - until now - is that monkey moms interact with their babies in much the same way that human moms do... with mutual gazing, loving facial gestures and imitation.
(SOT: Stephen Suomi)
"What we saw was intense face to face interactions with mothers staring into the infants' faces and the infants focusing on their mother's eyes."
For decades, researchers thought the attachment between infant monkeys and their mothers was based entirely on physical contact...feeding, holding, protecting.
But after a study of 14 rhesus monkeys in their first two months of life, they've come to a different conclusion.
(SOT: Stephen Suomi)
"The mother would hold the infant (cut) with the infant looking at its mother's face and the mother returning that glance and sometimes exchanging facial expressions like lip smacking or sticking out one's tongue. And they would imitate each other in these contexts."
NIH researcher Stephen Suomi has been studying the behavior of rhesus monkeys for decades...
(SOT: Suomi)
"We were actually very surprised to see this, particularly given what the literature had reported and what our own previous observations had failed to detect."
Scientists have long believed that this type of intense face-to-face interaction was the precursor to language between human moms and babies.
Because monkeys don't have language, scientists thought they didn't need the same emotional exchanges.
And there's another factor that threw researchers off:
(SOT: Suomi)
"When monkeys get older, such staring into another monkey's eyes is a threat and it's usually a prelude to an aggressive encounter. Here we were seeing exactly the opposite."
Suomi said interestingly, those emotional exchanges only lasted for the first three weeks of the monkey's life.
(SOT: Suomi)
"At three weeks of age, these interactions basically disappeared, which is probably why nobody had reported it before. They were looking too late. (cut) Three weeks of age is exactly the time that these infants begin to leave their mother to start exploring their larger social world."
Suomi and his team believe their findings offer new insight into the evolutionary origins of mother-infant behavior.
And they say that discovery could be groundbreaking as researchers continue to search for the roots of social exchange..both in primates and in humans.
(SOT: Suomi)
"Does the amount or the nature of this face to face interaction tell us anything about how that infant will grow up: what kind of personality it will have, what sort of relationship it will have with other animals, how social is it? We are learning about very early predictors of subsequent behavior and we think this may be one of them."
A report of the study will appear in the November 17th issue of Current Biology.
Kelly Daschle, The Associated Press.


You can license this story through AP Archive: http://www.aparchive.com/metadata/you...
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