Serotonin transporter genotype modulates social reward and punishment in rhesus macaques
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Background: Serotonin signaling influences social behavior in both human and nonhuman primates. In humans, variation upstream of the promoter region of the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTTLPR) has recently been shown to influence both behavioral measures of social anxiety and amygdala response to social threats. Here we show that length polymorphisms in 5-HTTLPR predict social reward and punishment in rhesus macaques, a species in which 5-HTTLPR variation is analogous to that of humans. Methodology/Principal Findings: In contrast to monkeys with two copies of the long allele (L/L), monkeys with one copy of the short allele of this gene (S/L) spent less time gazing at face than non-face images, less time looking in the eye region of faces, and had larger pupil diameters when gazing at photos of a high versus low status male macaques. Moreover, in a novel primed gambling task, presentation of photos of high status male macaques promoted risk-aversion in S/L monkeys but promoted risk-seeking in L/L monkeys. Finally, as measured by a "pay-per-view" task, S/L monkeys required juice payment to view photos of high status males, whereas L/L monkeys sacrificed fluid to see the same photos. Conclusions/Significance: These data indicate that genetic variation in serotonin function contributes to social reward and punishment in rhesus macaques, and thus shapes social behavior in humans and rhesus macaques alike. © 2009 Watson et al.
Published Version (Please cite this version)10.1371/journal.pone.0004156
Publication InfoWatson, Karli K; Ghodasra, Jason H; & Platt, Michael L (2009). Serotonin transporter genotype modulates social reward and punishment in rhesus macaques. PLoS ONE, 4(1). pp. e4156. 10.1371/journal.pone.0004156. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/4511.
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Adjunct Professor in the Department of Neurobiology
Our lab tries to understand how the brain makes decisions. We are particularly interested in the biological mechanisms that allow people and other animals to make decisions when the environment is ambiguous or complicated by the presence of other individuals. We use a broad array of techniques, including single neuron recordings, microstimulation, neuropharmacology, eye tracking, brain imaging, and genomics to answer these questions. Our work is motivated by ethology, evolutionary biology, and e
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