Maternal style in nonhuman primates is traditionally studied and understood in terms of maternal protection and rejection. Recently, the existence of the dimension of maternal warmth, characterized by intimate interactions between mother-infant, has been acknowledged. In humans, this dimension of care relates to the maternal style and the pattern of mother-baby attachment and appears to be quite variable due to sociocultural characteristics which the dyad belongs to. Variations in style of maternal protection and rejection are also observed in nonhuman primates, but little is known about the warmth component of care, and even less about the variables that affect it. Thus, this research aims to investigate the repertoire of initial intimate interactions between mothers and infants of tufted capuchin monkeys (genus Sapajus) in the wild and verify if these interactions vary along different populations living under distinct social and ecological conditions. Capuchin monkeys present great behavioral flexibility due to environmental variability, which we predict to be the result of distinct ontogenetic trajectories, modulated by specific patterns of mother-infant attachment and maternal styles resulting from different social and ecological pressures. This study may provide evidence about human behavioral and psychological adaptations, highlighting homologies in the pattern of maternal warmth and mother-baby attachment in humans and primates, in addition to expanding the knowledge about species of Neotropical primates.
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