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Brain grows and shrinks with social status

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Brain grows and shrinks with social status

Lots of animals, including people, live in pecking orders, and now researchers have gotten a peek at how rank affects the brain, BBC reports. MRIs of 25 group-living macaques showed that certain parts of the brain were expanded in dominant individuals, whereas other parts of the brain were larger in those at the bottom of the ladder, according to a study in PLOS Biology. Brain activity was more coordinated in these animals, while those in the middle rank seem to muddle by without having to worry as much about negotiating their place in the world. The conclusion: Brawn is not enough to stay on top.

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