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Hutton Honors College

 — Indiana University

What Are Friends For?
Social Bonds in Baboons, Humans, and Other Primates

Undergraduate discussion lunch with

Evolutionary Anthropologist Joan Silk
of the University of California, Los Angeles

Wednesday, Nov. 14, 12:30-1:45 p.m.
Hutton Honors College Great Room (811 E. Seventh St.)
SIGN-UP REQUIRED: See details below

What do close and lasting social bonds among primates tell us about human friendships? Joan Silk has found that while many animals live in groups, humans and other primates are unusual because individuals establish close and lasting social bonds within their groups and the capacity and motivation to establish and nurture such close relationships have been significant factors in the evolution of primates over millions of years. Such bonds are particularly pronounced in female baboons, and data derived from long-term studies suggest that social bonds help females cope more effectively with the stresses of everyday life. Additionally, these findings closely parallel evidence that social ties have positive effects on physical and mental health in humans and that the quality of the bonds are more important than the number. Bring a friend (or two) and join us for lunch with Silk to discuss the significance and benefits of close social relationships!

SIGN-UP INFO: If you are interested in attending this undergraduate event, please check your schedule to make sure you are available for the entire event and e-mail Anna Duquaine (, indicating you wish to sign up for the "Joan Silk" program and include your name, e-mail address, year in school, and field(s) of study. If you wish to bring a friend (or two), please provide the information noted. Space is limited so we will let you know by e-mail if a space was available when you replied.

Silk is the fifth of seven primatologists visiting campus this fall to deliver public lectures on primate behavior as part of themester programming on Good Behavior, Bad Behavior: Molecules to Morality. Her public lecture, "What are Friends For? The Adaptive Value of Social Bonds," is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 15, 5:30-6:30 p.m., in Whittenberger Auditorium, IMU. For more information on the lecture series, which is co-sponsored by the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior, click here. Please direct any questions about the series to its organizers, anthropology Professors Michael Muehlenbein ( and Kevin Hunt ( More information on Silk's work is available here.

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