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Departamento de Etología (Established 1983)
Primate Center, Lab or Research Program

Phone: (015) 6552811 ext. 193   Fax: (015) 6559980   E-Mail:
Camino de Xochimilco 101, Mexico, Distrito Federal 14370 MEXICO
Department: Division Neurociencias
Institution: Instituto Mexicano de Psiquiatría

Mission: The main mission of our department, and the reason why it was placed in a Psychiatry Institute, is to provide with studies that relate mechanisms of proximal and ultimate causation of behavior in non human primates, and their relation to the evolution of human social behavior and mind. Of main institutional interest is the study of how monkeys manage social life demands, including competition and cooperation; social development; sexual conflict.

Principal Research Programs: 1. Comparative studies of spontaneous social behavior and social cognition of two species of monkeys kept in outdoor captivity: stumptail macaques ("Macaca arctoides") and spider monkeys ("Ateles geoffroyi") related to their different mating systems. 2. Reproductive behavior and physiology of the above mentioned species, related to sexual selection.3. Social networks and political behavior.4.Experimental studies on primate cognition.

Training Opportunities: We provide educational opportunities for precollege, college, graduate and postgraduate students. Depending on the student level the program focus ranges from introducing to measuring behavior techniques to support of original research (as long as it does not involves intrusive manipulations, increasing intragroup aggression or testing potentially toxic or highly addictive drugs). Main topics concern the relationship between psychological, ontogeny and physiological mechanisms as the proximate factors responsible for maintaining functionality or ultimate causation. No monetary support is available, but we can provide lodgings and meals to visitors.

Number of Staff: 5

Supported Species: 8 Ateles geoffroyi (Geoffroy's spider monkey), 30 Macaca arctoides (stump-tailed macaque)

Comments: Our group also does studies on humans, mainly related to chemical cues during or around ovulation and hormonal relationships underlying female-female sexual competition.

Last Updated: 2009-06-22

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