Rhesus monkeys can see their own hearts

Rhesus monkeys can see their own hearts

Rhesus macaques can detect their own heart, according to new research from the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis and Royal Holloway, University of London. The research introduces an animal model first of its kind of interoception, the ability to see what is going on inside someone’s body, such as watching when your heart is racing or breathing fast. The findings provide an important model for future psychiatric and neuropsychiatric research such as dysfunctions in interoception associated with anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease. Photo: Matthew Verdolivo / UC Davis

Rhesus macaques can detect their own heart, according to new research from the California National Primate Research Center at the University of California, Davis, and Royal Holloway, University of London. The study, published April 11 at Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences created the first of its kind animal models of interoception. Interoception is about being able to see what is going on inside someone’s body, such as watching when your heart is racing or breathing fast. The findings provide an important model for future psychiatric and neuropsychiatric research such as dysfunctions in interoception associated with anxiety, depression, and Alzheimer’s disease.

The study was part of a collaboration between Eliza Bliss-Moreau, associate professor of psychology at UC Davis and senior scientist at CNPRC and affective scientist Manos Tsakiris, from the Department of Education at Royal Holloway, led by Joey Charbonneau, a medical student in science. at UC Davis and Lara Maister, from the University of Bangor, Wales.

The team observed four rhesus monkeys sitting in front of an infrared monitor that displayed amplified stimuli and emitted a sound simultaneously or asynchronously (much faster and more accurately). slow) with the hearts of monkeys. Such experiments are more likely to be watched by monkeys and human babies because of the length of things they are surprised at and unexpected.

The four monkeys spent more time looking at the stimuli shown outside the heart with their heart compared to the stimuli shown outside the heart with their heartbeat – assuming they felt it is amazing that the heart is stirred because of the heart that is supposed to be their heart. The results are consistent with previously reported evidence of human babies using a similar technique. This provides the first evidence that rhesus monkeys have the same power as humans to perceive their heart rate and have an interoceptive sense.

“Why do we care? Interoception, or self-observation of your physiological system, affects all aspects of human life,” says Bliss-Moreau.

The ability to see our inner being can reveal problems within the body that need to be addressed. Impaired interoceptive knowledge is associated with a reduced ability to manage emotions and increased susceptibility to health problems such as anxiety and depression.

“Interoception is important for the regulation of mood and mental health in cats, but we know little about how they develop in childhood or evolutionary period,” he said. Tsakiris. “The work we’re presenting here is a first -hand attempt to fill in these gaps.”

Deficiencies associated with Alzheimer’s disease

Deficiencies in interoception have also been linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease.

“This model will be used in future translation studies of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s,” Bliss-Moreau said. “If we can measure interoception, we can track it as a behavioral biomarker of disease progression.”

The study provides insights on how the rhesus macaque model can be used to enhance our understanding of brain and body function.

“The next step is to learn the nature of interoception in relation to psychiatric and neuropsychiatric conditions,” Tsakiris said.


The heart can hold the key to understanding the world inside babies


More information:
Rhesus monkeys have an interoceptive sense of their beating heart, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073 / pnas.2119868119.

Directions: Rhesus monkeys can see their own hearts (2022, April 11) Retrieved 12 April 2022 from https://phys.org/news/2022-04-rhesus-monkeys-heartbeat.html

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