Chuck Snowdon's 5/9/2011 talk at Binghamton University. Part of the Evolutionary Studies seminar series.
Cooperatively breeding species are those where multiple caregivers are involved in infant care. This is a common breeding system in marmosets and tamarins small primates of the Neotropics. I will show that multiple caregivers are essential for infant survival not only in the field but in captivity. I will also present findings on hormonal and behavioral mechanisms that underlie formation and maintenance of a strong pair bond between mates as well as mechanisms that induce changes in behavior and hormones in fathers during the mate’s pregnancy that lead to successful infant care. I will also present some neuroimaging data on how male monkeys respond to cues from females. I will also examine how non-reproductive caregivers are reproductively suppressed and rewarded by parents for involvement infant care. I will also show how multiple caregivers serve as buffers to individual variation in infant caregiving providing a constant quality of infant care to all infants. Humans are also said to be cooperative breeders, and we have started research on behavioral and hormonal influences in humans. I will present some preliminary data on correlates of human pair bonding.