Connections matter: Social networks and lifespan health in primate translational models

Brenda Mccowan, Brianne Beisner, Eliza Bliss-Moreau, Jessica Vandeleest, Jian Jin, Darcy Hannibal, Fushing Hsieh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Humans live in societies full of rich and complex relationships that influence health. The ability to improve human health requires a detailed understanding of the complex interplay of biological systems that contribute to disease processes, including the mechanisms underlying the influence of social contexts on these biological systems. A longitudinal computational systems science approach provides methods uniquely suited to elucidate the mechanisms by which social systems influence health and well-being by investigating how they modulate the interplay among biological systems across the lifespan. In the present report, we argue that nonhuman primate social systems are sufficiently complex to serve as model systems allowing for the development and refinement of both analytical and theoretical frameworks linking social life to health. Ultimately, developing systems science frameworks in nonhuman primate models will speed discovery of the mechanisms that subserve the relationship between social life and human health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number433
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberAPR
StatePublished - 2016


  • Health status
  • Nonhuman primates
  • Social network analysis
  • Translational
  • Well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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