Journal of Undergraduate Research


oxytocin receptor gene, titi monkeys, monogamous nature


Family, Home, and Social Sciences




Titi monkeys, are a new world monogamous nonhuman primate that bonds for life. Their monogamous nature makes them an ideal model for studying parenting behavior as well as social partner relationships (i.e., husband and wife). Non-human primates are comparable to humans genetically and, perhaps as a consequence of their genetic similarities, they show many behavioral parallels (Bales et al., 2007). Studies in humans show that variation in the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR1) impacts the strength and type of a mother-infant relationship (Bakermans-Kranenburg & van IJzendoorn, 2008; Carter, 1992). While the OXTR1 has been found in a number of nonhuman primates including capuchins, marmosets and squirrel monkeys, the gene has not yet been located in titi monkeys. The primary focus of my research was to locate this gene (OXTR) in titi monkeys, and determine if it is polymorphic (meaning there is more than one variation of this region in these primates.)

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