Social attachment involves development of a “social bond” between individuals.
A social bond can form between a mother and her offspring.
- Ex. Sheep (ewe and lamb)
- moms nurse only their own young (lambs) and reject the lambs of other females
A social bond can form between an adult female or male and their mate.
- Ex. voles
- prairie vole--monogamous species in which one male pairs with one female, a relationship that often extends the lifetime of the individuals; males and females prefer to spend time with each other, they engage in biparental care and show aggression against intruders
- montane vole--polygamous species in which males and females pair repeatedly with different members of their species, with females showing most of the parental care
Oxytocin has been implicated in the social bond that forms between the ewe and her lamb, as well as social bonding in female prairie voles.
Vasopressin has been implicated in social bonding in male prairie voles.