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Author Notes:


The authors have declared that no competing interests exist. C.G. contributed to this article in her personal capacity. The views expressed are her own and do not necessarily represent the views of the National Institutes of Health or the United States Government.

The authors want to thank Jennifer Whitley, Josh Bailey, Manuel Bautista and Jessica Johnson, members of the YNPRC Field Station Phenotyping group (PhenX: Identification of Unique Phenotypes at the YNPRC Breeding Colony), and Colony Management for collection of behavioral data; Dr. Rebecca Herman for developing the data extraction/error checking programs; and Drs. Hasse Walum and Melinda Higgins for statistical guidance.


Research Funding:

This study was supported by the Yerkes Pilot Research Project Program, YNPRC Base Grant (OD P51OD011132-56) from the Yerkes National Primate Research Center (http://www.yerkes.emory.edu/), awarded to Z. K-B; and the Marcus Autism Center of Excellence grant (ACE P50 MH100029-06) from the National Institutes of Health NIH/NIMH (https://www.nimh.nih.gov/index.shtml), awarded to J.B. and M.S. (Project 5). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.


  • Science & Technology
  • Multidisciplinary Sciences
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Validation of the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) to screen for atypical social behaviors in juvenile macaques


Journal Title:



Volume 16, Number 5


, Pages e0235946-e0235946

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF


Primates form strong social bonds and depend on social relationships and networks that provide shared resources and protection critical for survival. Social deficits such as those present in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other psychiatric disorders hinder the individual's functioning in communities. Given that early diagnosis and intervention can improve outcomes and trajectories of ASD, there is a great need for tools to identify early markers for screening/diagnosis, and for translational animal models to uncover biological mechanisms and develop treatments. One of the most widely used screening tools for ASD in children is the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS), a quantitative measure used to identify individuals with atypical social behaviors. The SRS has been adapted for use in adult rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta)-a species very close to humans in terms of social behavior, brain anatomy/ connectivity and development-but has not yet been validated or adapted for a necessary downward extension to younger ages matching those for ASD diagnosis in children. The goal of the present study was to adapt and validate the adult macaque SRS (mSRS) in juvenile macaques with age equivalent to mid-childhood in humans. Expert primate coders modified the mSRS to adapt it to rate atypical social behaviors in juvenile macaques living in complex social groups at the Yerkes National Primate Research Center. Construct and face validity of this juvenile mSRS (jmSRS) was determined based on well-established and operationalized measures of social and non-social behaviors in this species using traditional behavioral observations. We found that the jmSRS identifies variability in social responsiveness of juvenile rhesus monkeys and shows strong construct/predictive validity, as well as sensitivity to detect atypical social behaviors in young male and female macaques across social status. Thus, the jmSRS provides a promising tool for translational research on macaque models of children social disorders.

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© 2021 Kovacs Balint et al

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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