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J Comp Psychol. 2004 Sep;118(3):340-346. doi: 10.1037/0735-7036.118.3.340.

Behavioral and emotional response of Japanese macaque (Macaca fuscata) mothers after their offspring receive an aggression.

Author information

Istituto di Scienze e Tecnologie della Cognizione, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche.
Dipartimento di Genetica e Biologia Molecolare, Universit√° di Roma "La Sapienza".
School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University.


The authors of this study investigated the behavioral and emotional response of female Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) to an aggression received by their offspring to evaluate the existence of cognitive empathic responses in a naturalistic setting. After their offspring received an aggression, mothers did not direct increased affiliative contacts to them. The factors likely to affect the degree of distress in the offspring or the perceived risk for the mother failed to appropriately modulate maternal behavior. Finally, mothers did not increase their frequency of scratching (a behavioral indicator of anxiety) after their offspring had received an aggression. The results suggest Japanese macaque mothers may be unable to understand their offspring's need for distress alleviation after the receipt of aggression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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