Laboratory for Comparative Neurobiology of Monogamy (Bales)

The lab uses the comparative method to examine the endocrinology and neurobiology of social bonding. We focus on two monogamous species, the prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) and the coppery titi monkey (Callicebus cupreus), while using polygynous species, such as rhesus macaques, as comparisons.

Prairie Voles

Prairie voles are a monogamous species native to the American Midwest. They are becoming a premier biomedical model for conditions that involve social dysfunction (such as autism and other developmental disorders).

Studies in Primate Pair-Bonding & Parenting

Titi monkeys (Callicebus cupreus) are a monogamous New World monkey. They display the traits of social monogamy, including a preference for a familiar partner and distress upon separation. In the wild, titi monkey pair-mates spend most of their time within sight of each other and a lot of it in physical contact with their tails twined.

Primates as Models for Communication

Primate species will provide new and important biological inspirations for the design and implementation of communications and networking protocols. The ultimate challenge in translating what we learn from primates into communications and networking protocols is how primates integrate individual and group capabilities into robust and adaptable social and group behavior.