The Regulation of Defensive Behaviors in Rhesus Monkeys

Ned H. Kalin and Steven E. Shelton

in Anxiety, Depression, and Emotion

Published in print August 2000 | ISBN: 9780195133585
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847310 | DOI:

Series: Series in Affective Science

The Regulation of Defensive Behaviors in Rhesus Monkeys

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This chapter presents findings from studies of defensive behaviors in Rhesus monkeys which are relevant to understanding fear and anxiety-related psychopathology in humans. The physiological component of these fear-related behaviors is examined to reveal the causal factors of individual differences in fearful temperament. These studies complement the basic work on rodents discussed in prior chapters. Rhesus monkeys were chosen as subjects for the experiments since they share key biological and social characteristics with humans and have shorter life spans that enable longitudinal studies. This chapter discusses the laboratory paradigm developed to characterize fearful behavioral responses in the subjects and to identify which animals have fearful and anxious dispositions. The studies presented also yield relevant findings on the development of defensive responses — its neuropharmacological regulation and physiological components. The findings cited deficiencies in the regulation of adaptive emotional and defensive behavioral responses as the causes of anxiety-related psychopathology.

Keywords: Rhesus monkeys; fear; anxiety-related behaviors; psychopathology; laboratory paradigm; adaptive emotional response; defensive behavioral response

Chapter.  7477 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Clinical Psychology

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