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Primate Social Connectomes

Muldisciplinary project on primate social behaviours

Just like people, monkeys seem to get by with a little help from their friends. For them and for us, strong social connections are the foundations of a long, happy, and healthy life. Although scientists have identified the key brain areas that manage our connections with others, we know little about the genomic, hormonal, and environmental factors that interact to shape each individual’s ability to form these connections and use them for support. Through a collaboration between the University of Exeter, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico a, Oxford and Washington we investigated how individual social behavior relates to the structure and function of brain systems that regulate mood and stress. Our research is conducted on  a free-living population of rhesus monkeys that shows natural variation in both social behavior and genetics.


  • To present the results of our collaborative project

  • To enhance the utility of macaque as a reference species for comparative studies to better understand the structure, function, and evolution of the human social brain

  • To increase the availability of macaque behavioural, genomic and MRI datasets for researchers

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