lesson21 - 21 The Biopsychology of Love Key Terms and...

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21 The Biopsychology of Love Key Terms and Concepts o Oxytocin o Vasopressin o Meadow vole o Prairie vole o Titi monkey o Wied’s tamarin o Squirrel monkey o Love o Peptide receptors o Anterior cingulate cortex Ecology, Evolution, and Love Over the past few lessons we have seen that there are suites of characteristics that accompany each of the major mating systems. For example, monogamous species have males and females that are phenotypically quite similar. They live in ecologies in which it is highly advantageous if not downright necessary to have two parents investing in the offspring. Cuckoldry is a problem for monogamous males, but sperm production can be quite limited because of the relative absence of sperm competition. Polygynous species have a different suite of characteristics, as do polyandrous species. It is important to remember that psychology evolves in precisely the same way as anatomy and physiology, so we should expect the psychologies of monogamous species to differ from those of polygynous or promiscuous species in the same way that we expect them to differ in terms of body size ratios, sperm production rates, or the conspicuousness of ovulation. What evidence do we have for psychological processes differing in monogamous species compared to closely related species with other mating systems? Lesson 21 243
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Before delving into that question, let’s digress a bit and talk about monogamy a little more. Although over 90% of all bird species are monogamous, among mammals, monogamy is rare. One estimate is that fewer than 3% of all mammalian species practice monogamy as their standard mating system. But there are some families of mammals in which monogamy is the norm. One such family is the Callitrichidae, the tamarins and marmosets, which are small monkeys found in the rainforests of South America. There are a few monogamous rodents and small antelopes, and all the gibbons or lesser apes appear to be monogamous. Do these monogamous species, which are so odd among mammals, share any psychological traits in common? Apparently so. When I was in graduate school at the University of California at Davis, I was involved in a research project at the primate research center. My work was on squirrel monkeys, which hail from South America, but which are not monogamous. So I was especially interested in a research project involving squirrel monkeys that was being conducted by another research team. They were comparing squirrel monkeys with titi monkeys, one of the monogamous species. They began by forming pairs of monkeys in the lab, housing male and female titi monkeys together in a cage, and squirrel monkey pairs in other cages. The males and females of each cage had never met one another before the researchers conducted their match-making. After living together in pairs for several months, the interesting phase of the study began.
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This note was uploaded on 05/27/2010 for the course BIOS 373 B02 taught by Professor Dr.danielleger during the Spring '10 term at UNL.

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lesson21 - 21 The Biopsychology of Love Key Terms and...

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