Cowardly mice become alpha males when scientists flip a neural switch

Place a cowardly mouse face-to-face with a bold cage-mate in a narrow tube, and it will quickly retreat. But when researchers stimulate a region of the brain called the dorsal medial prefrontal cortex—which is active during social interactions when people decide whether to be submissive or assertive—these cowards become courageous, driving their peers backward through the tube and out of their way 90% of the time, The Guardian reports. Scientists also found that some of the newly made alpha mice continued to assert dominance over their peers, even after their brains were no longer under artificial control, researchers report in Science

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