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      Social Monogamy in Nonhuman Primates: Phylogeny, Phenotype, and Physiology

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      The Journal of Sex Research

      Informa UK Limited

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          Abstract

          <p class="first" id="P1">Monogamy as a social system has been both a scientific puzzle and an important sociocultural issue for decades. In this review, we examine social monogamy from a comparative perspective with a focus on our closest genetic relatives – the primates. We break down monogamy into component elements, including social relationships, mate-guarding or jealousy, emotional/affective attachment, and biparental care. Our survey of primates shows not all features are present in species classified as socially monogamous, in the same way that human monogamous relationships may not include all elements – a perspective we refer to as ‘monogamy à la carte’. Our review concludes with a survey of the neurobiological correlates of social monogamy in primates, exploring unique or common pathways for the elemental components of monogamy. This compilation points out the remarkably complex interplay among sex-steroid and neuropeptide hormones, glucocorticoids, and the reward pathway in shaping the social phenotypes associated with monogamy in primates. </p>

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          Evolution and tinkering.

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            Monogamy in Mammals

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              Neural reuse: a fundamental organizational principle of the brain.

              An emerging class of theories concerning the functional structure of the brain takes the reuse of neural circuitry for various cognitive purposes to be a central organizational principle. According to these theories, it is quite common for neural circuits established for one purpose to be exapted (exploited, recycled, redeployed) during evolution or normal development, and be put to different uses, often without losing their original functions. Neural reuse theories thus differ from the usual understanding of the role of neural plasticity (which is, after all, a kind of reuse) in brain organization along the following lines: According to neural reuse, circuits can continue to acquire new uses after an initial or original function is established; the acquisition of new uses need not involve unusual circumstances such as injury or loss of established function; and the acquisition of a new use need not involve (much) local change to circuit structure (e.g., it might involve only the establishment of functional connections to new neural partners). Thus, neural reuse theories offer a distinct perspective on several topics of general interest, such as: the evolution and development of the brain, including (for instance) the evolutionary-developmental pathway supporting primate tool use and human language; the degree of modularity in brain organization; the degree of localization of cognitive function; and the cortical parcellation problem and the prospects (and proper methods to employ) for function to structure mapping. The idea also has some practical implications in the areas of rehabilitative medicine and machine interface design.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                The Journal of Sex Research
                The Journal of Sex Research
                Informa UK Limited
                0022-4499
                1559-8519
                March 09 2018
                July 13 2017
                : 55
                : 4-5
                : 410-434
                Article
                10.1080/00224499.2017.1339774
                6004613
                28704071
                © 2017

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