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Use of infrared thermography, heart rate and heart rate variability in studying effect of sweeps in rhesus monkey

      The infrared thermography (IRT) system, measuring the energy radiating from the subject and translate it in temperature rate, IRT can be a useful non-invasive technique to study both positive and negative emotions in humans (Ioannou et al., 2014). In non-human primates it was demonstrated that the negative emotions, but not positive ones, both induced by showing video clips with different face expressions, determined a decrement of the nasal temperature (Kuraoka and Nakamura, 2011). An important affiliative social behavior in non-human primate is grooming, that determined positive physiological effects, as the decrement of heart rate (Boccia et al., 1989) and the increment of heart rate variability (Grandi and Ishida, 2014). Recently it was proposed that the sweeping movements of grooming determined the positive physiological effects (Dunbar, 2010). The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effect of the sweeping of a male rhesus monkey by means of IRT, heart rate and heart rate variability. The sweeping were given by human on the back of monkey, since the preferred site of grooming, and at velocity of 1-10 cm/sec. This velocity is the optimal to induce positive physiological reaction in humans (Loken et al., 2009). The preliminary results underlined that the sweeps determined the decrement of the heart rate and the increment of the heart rate variability and the nasal temperature of the monkey. Importantly we highlighted for the first time the relation among heart rate, heart rate variability and IRT.
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