Emergence of Stereotypies in Juvenile Monkeys (Macaca mulatta) With Neonatal Amygdala or Hippocampus Lesions

Melissa D Bauman, J. E. Toscano, B. A. Babineau, W. A. Mason, David G Amaral

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


The emergence of stereotypies was examined in juvenile rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta) who, at 2 weeks of postnatal age, received selective bilateral ibotenic acid lesions of the amygdala (N = 8) or hippocampus (N = 8). The lesion groups were compared to age-matched control subjects that received a sham surgical procedure (N = 8). All subjects were maternally reared for the first 6 months and provided access to social groups throughout development. Pronounced stereotypies were not observed in any of the experimental groups during the first year of life. However, between 1 to 2 years of age, both amygdala- and hippocampus-lesioned subjects began to exhibit stereotypies. When observed as juveniles, both amygdala- and hippocampus-lesioned subjects consistently produced more stereotypies than the control subjects in a variety of contexts. More interesting, neonatal lesions of either the amygdala or hippocampus resulted in unique repertoires of repetitive behaviors. Amygdala-lesioned subjects exhibited more self-directed stereotypies and the hippocampus-lesioned subjects displayed more head-twisting. We discuss these results in relation to the neurobiological basis of repetitive stereotypies in neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1005-1015
Number of pages11
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008


  • amygdaloid complex
  • macaque
  • repetitive behavior
  • rhesus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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