Domestication Phenotype Linked to Vocal Behavior in Marmoset Monkeys

Asif A. Ghazanfar, Lauren M. Kelly, Daniel Y. Takahashi, Sandra Winters, Rebecca Terrett, James P. Higham

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The domestication syndrome refers to a set of traits that are the by-products of artificial selection for increased tolerance toward humans [1-3]. One hypothesis is that some species, like humans and bonobos, "self-domesticated" and have been under selection for that same suite of domesticated phenotypes [4-8]. However, the evidence for this has been largely circumstantial. Here, we provide evidence that, in marmoset monkeys, the size of a domestication phenotype-a white facial fur patch-is linked to their degree of affiliative vocal responding. During development, the amount of parental vocal feedback experienced influences the rate of growth of this facial white patch, and this suggests a mechanistic link between the two phenotypes, possibly via neural crest cells. Our study provides evidence for links between vocal behavior and the development of morphological phenotypes associated with domestication in a nonhuman primate.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)5026-5032.e3
    JournalCurrent Biology
    Issue number24
    StatePublished - Dec 21 2020


    • Callithrix jacchus
    • facial coloration
    • neural crest cells
    • self-domestication
    • vocal turn-taking
    • Domestication
    • Male
    • Callithrix/physiology
    • Pigmentation/physiology
    • Phenotype
    • Animals
    • Face/physiology
    • Female
    • Vocalization, Animal/physiology

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
    • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
    • General Neuroscience


    Dive into the research topics of 'Domestication Phenotype Linked to Vocal Behavior in Marmoset Monkeys'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this