3 October, 2012

The monkeys scratched themselves more often when being distant from other group members than when in close proximity with them, suggesting that even short-distance separation from group members may be an important factor affecting capuchins emotional response. The risk of receiving aggression seemed also to elicit anxiety, as scratching was higher when in proximity to more dominant individuals and females, which were the categories of group members that were more aggressive. By contrast, scratching was lower when in proximity to more secure partners, like kin. Finally, scratching rates following the receipt of aggression were higher than at baseline, indicating a post-conflict increase in anxiety.

Scratching as a Window into the Emotional Responses of Wild Tufted Capuchin Monkeys - Polizzi di Sorrentino - 2012 - Ethology - Wiley Online Library