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Scientists' Mouse Fight Club

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the yeah-pip-squeak-I'm-talkin'-to-you dept.

Science 193

An anonymous reader writes "To study how aggression, fighting, and winning change the brain, scientists set up a tournament of mice fights. They watched as the lab rodents took a break from their hum-drum existence and battled it out (however, the researchers broke the first rule of Fight Club by publishing a paper about their findings [abstract]). They found clear evidence of the 'winner effect,' in which a mouse that has just won a fight maintains elevated levels of testosterone and aggression, and is therefore more likely to win the next bout. Interestingly, the winner effect was strongest in mice that were fighting in their own cages — i.e., those that had home-field advantage."

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Second Rule? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32828686)

What about the second rule ?

Re:Second Rule? (5, Funny)

sirrunsalot (1575073) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828710)

The second rule of fight club is you DO NOT squeak about fight club. (Ugh...)

Men... (5, Interesting)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828700)

"How a society channels male aggression is one of the greatest questions as to whether that society will survive. That's why I am not against violence in the media, I am against the glorification of immoral violence."
-- Dennis Prager

Re:Women... (5, Insightful)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828734)

I think it would do society some good to take the blinders off and have a look at female aggression and it's consequences...

Re:Women... (4, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828926)

I think it would do society some good to take the blinders off and have a look at female aggression and it's consequences...

Cat Fight!!!

Re:Women... (2, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828960)

Female aggression only happens when women are empowered. I guess we should disenfranchise them again. (That's a joke, son.)

But more seriously, when people are given the latitude to be aggressive, you'll see a spectrum of responses. Some people can handle power responsibly, others get drunk with it and start thumping people with little provocation or cause. Systems are supposed to be designed such that abusers are culled, but it seems that just as frequently a given system of authority closes ranks and defends 'it's own' against outside accusations however well-founded.

However there's no cause to single out genders/races/ages/etc. because such categories only go so far in explaining what are ultimately individual motivations. People may draw from various behavior archetypes, may respond to various experiences in ways that can be predicted or categorized, but there are always factors that introduce variances such that you can't view people as simple equations of A + B = C every time.

Re:Women... (4, Insightful)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829082)

However there's no cause to single out genders/races/ages/etc. because such categories only go so far in explaining what are ultimately individual motivations.

Since women appear to manifest aggression in very different ways than men (although increasingly exactly like men as an additional mode) it seems like a very worthwhile to single out the genders. For one thing female aggression largely goes unnoticed (or just plain denied) by society and consequently their victims are usually unnoticed as well.

Re:Women... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829300)

It depends on how one defines 'aggression'. Physically where women are effectively aggressive, there is no real difference. Primarily because as you allude it is a learned behavior from men. A lot of generations are going to pass before women have anything to teach men about physical aggression which has been the bread and butter province of men since prehistory.

If you're talking about some kind of emotional or social aggression, you're simply looking at the momentum from a social adaptation that was natural for women in a patriarchal society. Almost universally disenfranchised from any kind of real power in politics, religion, or society at large, women had to become manipulative, even deceitful, by nature because it was only through exerting as much social influence over their husbands/sons/brothers/fathers etc. as possible that they could have any real control over their own destinies, let alone control over any segment of society.

And it is just as I said before, ability is not the same as abuse, there is a spectrum of responses. Each woman is as ethical or unscrupulous as her background and experience has made her. There is nothing inherently good or bad about a gender.

Re:Women... (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829714)

There is nothing inherently good or bad about a gender.

No one said there was. Although you are just making an assertion - one which may or may not be true.

You know you seem to be making a big effort to excuse the violence women commit and perpetuate as not being worth examination. Unfortunately that is not surprising. Like I said society would benefit from taking the blinders off. Violence is only a concern if it is "effective"...? I don't think so. And of course it's men's fault... "learned behaviour from men"? "patriarchal society"? Again not very surprising - round up the usual suspects.

Ever see a woman lose it physically? That isn't something she learned from men. Ever see a female just haul off and slap a man (or kick or punch) while obviously expecting to be able to do it with complete impunity? That isn't something she learned from men either.

And even if you are right that it is a learned behaviour from "the patriarchy" (next meeting Thursday at 9 guys!) that doesn't mean it isn't worth studying and isn't a problem - but you can always try to sell that to the school kid who has been ostracised and emotionally brutalized by one of the girl cliques at their school.

Re:Women... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830150)

The primary reason that women have more latitude is because they are less effective. They lack the upper body strength, the hormonal response, the reflexes, and the combat cunning that a male possesses (being almost exclusively responsible for physical conflict in human society for thousands of years kind of helps to promote certain physiological conditions). The average man could beat the average woman literally senseless without too much effort. It is because of this that society has conditioned men to turn the other cheek, because responding in kind would escalate too quickly into a very unfair fight, as the history of the abuse of women demonstrates.

None of this of course has much bearing on women fighting women, which isn't new by half. There are literary accounts of domestic violence between women from the Greco-Roman period at the very least (such that I've read personally, they may be even older accounts).

You're deciding to read my opinions as excusing of female violence, which I said nothing of the kind. I said that it was learned from men because men are experts (would you expect a soldier to learn his trade from somebody exclusively a bookbinder? or vice versa?), no more. Perhaps you forgot the very source of this topic? Is all violence evil? Are all men evil? Ridiculous and absurd. It sounds like you have some sort complex, inclined to blame yourself while seeming to defend against the words of others.

Re:Women... (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830262)

I said that it was learned from men because men are experts

Wow, that's sexist.

Re:Women... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830444)

It's reality (though I suspect you may be making a joke). Virtually every soldier before the modern era was male. Combat is a masculine expertise. There is no implied morality to that. Men have used their skills of combat to defend as well as attack, to stop violence as well as initiate it. Violence is not inherently immoral. Anybody who believes otherwise is a fool.

Re:Women... (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830506)

as the history of the abuse of women demonstrates

We of course have no history of the abuse of men and children by women because people don't want to look at that. Even the suggestion that it be looked at brings on posts like yours attempting to discourage and - quite evidently -blame men. Oh that darn patriarchy! And by the way being less effective" (another assertion) is not an excuse.

You're deciding to read my opinions as excusing of female violence, which I said nothing of the kind.

Really? It isn't the patriarchy (men's) fault? You haven't been saying it isn't worth looking specifically at women's violence?

It sounds like you have some sort complex, inclined to blame yourself while seeming to defend against the words of others.

Ahhh the tell-tale clue. Almost like clock-work when I see any public forum get a post that paints women as anything other than angels who are just total victims in every situation there's always the little ad hominem attack against the poster... that's when you know there is no actual dialogue possible because the other person isn't looking for actual discussion, they instead want to silence it or raise the noise level to the point where it is ineffective. I've said nothing but that the violence of women should be studied and made public (just like the violence of men) and pointed out some of the ways in which women are violent and the ways in which society excuses or ignores it... and your response is to make a personal attack, whacky arm-chair psychiatry and so on. You're very transparent.

Re:Women... (2, Interesting)

Servaas (1050156) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829936)

you're simply looking at the momentum from a social adaptation that was natural for women in a patriarchal society.

Sometimes that bitch from down the street is just a bitch.

Re:Women... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829978)

It depends on how one defines 'aggression'. Physically where women are effectively aggressive, there is no real difference. Primarily because as you allude it is a learned behavior from men.

I seriously doubt women 'learned' agression from men. Agression goes a long way back , as primates ( both female and male ) already are capable of aggression.

The only difference now is that , during some time , women were forced the suppress their anger . As a result , they are better at controlling it.

But as with all bottled up anger , when it does get out , it's a lot more violent ( as it's totally out of proportion ) .

No , if you think women are less capable of violence then men , you've never met my sister ( posting anonymous , cause if she reads this , it's the last thing I'll ever write )

Re:Women... (2, Interesting)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830258)

I was talking about effective physical aggression. A woman who fights 'like a girl' stereotypically (slapping, hair-pulling, etc.) is not going to be as effective as the masculine approach of attacking with powerful blows, blocking, feigning, etc. There's a reason why women take self-defense courses to learn how to handle themselves in a fight, it does not come naturally to most of them. Don't misread that, I'm not saying that fighting doesn't come naturally, I'm saying that fighting effectively does not come naturally, and men are the gatekeepers of that experience.

Re:Women... (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829210)

You are so right. The equating is more like A^2+B^2=C^2.

Re:Women... (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829342)

I think you'll find it's A*B = C. If C is greater than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.

Re:Women... (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829676)

I would propose the theory that women have become more aggressive because they have to in order to protect themselves against not only an aggressive man, but other women. When no one will step in to help, the "weak" (physically less stronger, whether male, female, elderly, etc.) either have to fight or die. Very few people will step in to help someone. They tend to turn their back and say, "Not my problem."

It has within the past decades become OK for girls to not only protect themselves, but become bullies. Of course there have always been bullies of both sexes, but we see more and more young girls duking it out like sailors in a drunken brawl. Everyone just stands around and films it then posts it on YouTube. It's okay for people to get into a bitch slap on the daytime TV shows. (I've no doubt these people are actors and this is set up, but it simply enforces that it's acceptable to lay hands on someone just because you're pissed off or you're "disrespected.")

I've got to wonder about "scientists" who want to watch mice fighting. What scientific value does this have and how is it any different from cock-fighting or dog fights? Why don't they just go on the street and watch real humans in crowded urban areas or how people act watching a cage match fight? You can put two beta fish together [ezinearticles.com] and they'll always fight--why...because they come from a land where they live in small bodies of water, marsh areas (which is why they can also jump out of the bowl--they have to be able to hop to the next puddle.) It's for purely territorial survival reasons that they fight other fish. I expect it's the same for the mice too.

Re:Women... (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829904)

It has within the past decades become OK for girls to not only protect themselves, but become bullies.

Women have been bullying since the beginning of society [cite not needed to anyone with a clue] it's just that is hasn't usually been physical (or obviously so) until recently. Just ask any girl who ever went to public school, or worked in a primarily female job, was part of any organization comprised mostly of females, or... but yes you are right it has been getting more and more acceptable for females to be openly physically violent. Those who deny violence by females - physical or non-physical - are helping to perpetuate it.

Re:Women... (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830396)

Until recently? You know nothing of history. Go here [fordham.edu] and search for "the wool maid is done for" and read a few paragraphs. That's but an example.

Re:Women... (1)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830574)

Of course I said "or obviously so"

Thanks for the ad hominem. And ignoring the vast majority of my post to try and distract by fixing on something minor you can try to pick at. As I've said - you're very transparent.

Re:Women... (1)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830532)

I never denied that women haven't been bullies or that women haven't been physically violent. Because of society, however, most "bullying" occurred on a more intellectual level vs. physical. Until recently, it wasn't acceptable in society for women to turn to physical violence. I've even seen cases where the parent was egging a daughter on like he would have his son: to stand up and fight. My theory, although I digressed a bit, was that when a group doesn't feel protected or that there is no longer a social structure to things, they resort to violence or the threat thereof--sometimes in order to attempt to bluff out the other. Whether you like it or not it used to be if a woman was threatened she didn't always have to worry that no one would come to her aid and therefore didn't have to become aggressive. Now she can't always count on a boyfriend, husband or passerby to assist. I think, especially in our more crowded urban areas, that people are starting to de-evolve into animals battling over territory, mates, food, etc.

Re:Women... (2, Funny)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829014)

I fully support this. Especially if mud is involved.

Re:Women... (1)

OrangeMonkey11 (1553753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830128)

Pudding or Jello would be better

Re:Women... (5, Insightful)

Aboroth (1841308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829168)

No kidding. In general when a man gets pissed at you, he lets you know, and maybe hits you or yells at you, but in the end you work it out. On the other hand when a typical woman gets pissed at you, you had better watch out. She probably won't tell you, and instead will use psychological methods to tear you apart from the inside in an attempt to completely ruin you and leave you a quivering shell of a man. Women are vicious. Men are so much easier to deal with because they bring problems out in the open. Most girls I have dated have said proudly that they think like guys, and don't act the way most women do (as I explained earlier). But guess what? They still do it, just not as often.

Re:Women... (2, Interesting)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830178)

Doesn't that simply show a superior intellect outwitting superior physical strength?

Re:Women... (1)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829170)

...and have a look at female aggression and it's[sic] consequences...

Consequences? Domain registrars with names like "Go Daddy" [finfacts.com] , and urine-colored (to say nothing of the flavor...) beer [healthyinfluence.com] .

Not sure if misuse of the apostrophe is a consequence of female aggression, though.

Re:Women... (5, Insightful)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829220)

In all seriousness, why is this modded as funny? Twenty percent of reported domestic abusers are female, despite the fact that a man is less likely to turn in his wife and that the police are less likely to take the case seriously due to cultural effects. Some studies have even shown that female on male spousal abuse is the more common form, though it is less physically damaging. Mothers abuse children more frequently than fathers, physical confrontations in schools are becoming increasingly perpetrated by females, and all of that says nothing to the more traditional forms of psychological and emotional aggressiveness practiced by many women.

Re:Women... (5, Insightful)

Have Brain Will Rent (1031664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829790)

You're very right - the fact that it gets modded funny is tellingly symptomatic of the problem. Let's end the denial and take the blinders off for the sake of all. We could start by asking why the media (or the audience) considers it "funny" for a woman to kick a man in the genitals? Or just haul of and slap/punch him - with complete impunity. Even when it is clearly painful for the recipient it is somehow supposed to be funny. It's ok for women to lose control and hit - right? Because that is the message and very few people seem to see a problem with that.

Re:Women... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32830458)

Perpetuated in the media and we most often don't even notice. Seen the VW "punch game" ads? Notice that they feature men hitting men, women hitting men, and women hitting women, but never men hitting women. The take-home lesson is that it's OK for a woman to hit whoever she wants to, but a man can only hit another man. It's not unlike a phenomenon I first noticed solving word problems in my math courses in the 80s - little Sally *always* has more apples than little Johnny, and little Suzie *always* wins the race against little Mike. Now we are surprised at media reports telling us that women "dominate" higher education? Much of feminism has never been about "equality," cheap sloganeering aside. It's about SUPERIORITY, not equality. It's not about breaking even, but GETTING even.

Re:Women... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830468)

Twenty percent of reported domestic abusers are female

You should have bolded "reported", because as you say, men aren't likely to call the cops when their wife beats the hell out of them; they're ashamed the cops will laugh and call them pussies. Women have no such problems calling the cops.

The "men more more violent than women" is a myth. Hell, there's a bartender at Felber's that put her first husband in the hospital.

Re:Men... (2, Interesting)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828826)

Really? Prager? That dude's logic meter was broken the day he was born.

He's pro-violence in the media because it makes money for his right-wing buddies, just like his pro-religion and pro-right-wing anything does.

Being "against the glorification of immoral violence" is a straw-man, set up to demonize anyone who points out that his idea of "morality" is extremist.

Who is this Pragler idiot? (1)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829982)

Being "against the glorification of immoral violence" is a straw-man, set up to demonize anyone who points out that his idea of "morality" is extremist.

I had just skimmed over the quote until you commented on it. I missed the immoral part, which is a shame, because that quote is about the most idiotic thing I have ever seen. I mean, really? You are against immoral violence? That is just brilliant.

I will go one step further than this Pragler twit:

"I, for one, am against immoral violence. However, I am completely for moral violence."

I would also like to add I am for moral boobies, penguins, and shoes. I am firmly against immoral sign posts, watches, and rhubarb patches.

Re:Who is this Pragler idiot? (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830212)

Prager is the pious version of Glenn Beck.

Re:Who is this Pragler idiot? (2, Insightful)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830232)

The distinction is an important one, because unlike rhubarb patches, violence can be for moral or immoral purposes.

Re:Men... (1)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830348)

You're pro violence. You just are hypocritical about it. Leftwingers are just as violent as any right wingers I've ever seen. You just are blind if you think there are any differences. You just support their causes so you over look the violence.

Earth First
Peta
Anti G8 (G20) protests
Anti AZ immigration protests

In fact, I can't think of any large "right wing" violent protests in the US.

Re:Men... (1)

Johann Lau (1040920) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828890)

So aggression is fine, as long as femals are doing it... OR females are never aggressive... which one of these false statements were you trying to imply haha? Besides the BS of equating violence and aggression, of course...

Re:Men... (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829178)

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
--William Congreve, (paraphrased).

'Nuff said.

Re:Men... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829660)

That's a bit sexist, lady. I have a loose tooth right now, and it wasn't a man that knocked it loose. It was a redneck feMALE that hit harder than any man ever hit me (and I was in the military once). In my experience (and I'm no kid), women are far more violent and agressive than men. I like to drink in a redneck bar in the ghetto, so you can understand that there's a bit of violence occasionally, but I've seen far more catfights than men fighting. Women can't seem to contain their anger at all, yet society acts as if women never get mad.

We men are taught from a young age "you don't hit girls" (at least most of us are), but nobody tells the girls they can't hit anybody (actually we should be teaching all our kids "don't hit anybody").

If that worthless redneck bitch ever hits me again I'll have her jailed. I won't hit a woman, but I'll sure as hell have one arrested.

Are you pondering what I'm pondering? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32828704)

I think so, Brain, but if you ask me that one more time I'm going to kick your ass! NARF!

Isn't this illegal? (3, Funny)

imgod2u (812837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828724)

I mean, surely if cockfighting or dogfighting is illegal...

Re:Isn't this illegal? (5, Funny)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828748)

But this is Science!

Re:Isn't this illegal? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32828992)

It wouldn't surprise me if it was perfectly legal to stage dog fights or cock fights in the name of science provided you do enough paperwork in advance. It's just the type of people who stage dog fights or cock fights are not the type that to do the paperwork.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829898)

Also, good luck on getting an ethics committee to sign off on a dog fight.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829440)

I'm sure we can put our differences behind us, you monster.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32828792)

Haha, you said c**k..

Re:Isn't this illegal? (2, Insightful)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828882)

It really depends on what is meant by "fighting." The fight could be similar to high school wrestling matches, or it could be lethal. I'm not well versed in the fighting techniques or habits of mice. The article doesn't go into much detail, and the full text paper is hidden behind a sign in page.

However, cock fights usually result in maiming, and sometimes death. Besides, those are conducted for amusement. Though some may disagree, most would agree it's one thing to harm or kill an animal for a reasonable purpose (research, food, etc.), but it's another to kill for amusement.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (1)

eastlight_jim (1070084) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829062)

Even the full paper isn't much help. They don't go into details on the fights themselves. An excerpt from the methods says:

"[T]he female was removed from the home cage; an opaque divider was inserted into the cage and isolated the focal mouse on one side; an opponent was placed in the cage's opposite side; the mice were given 2 min to acclimate; the divider was removed and the mice were given 10 min to freely interact."

They then go on to talk about "winning experiences" without detail. Presumably they judged winning from the body language of the mice concerned. A winner would presumably dominate a loser with the loser often on their back or trying to stay out the way in a corner or similar.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (2, Funny)

chocapix (1595613) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829092)

I'm not well versed in the fighting techniques [...] of mice.

Potentially the greatest famous last words ever.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (1)

Gravitron 5000 (1621683) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829318)

I'm not well versed in the fighting techniques or habits of mice.

Your Squeek-Kun-Do is no match for my Mew-Jitsu.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (2, Interesting)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829120)

Kind of like prostitution. If you pay someone to have sex with you it's considered illegal (in some places). But you pay someone to have sex with you in front of a video camera, then it's porn and protected as free speech.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829686)

I agree. There is a disconnect with how that works no matter what side you are on.

Re:Isn't this illegal? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830356)

I mean, surely if cockfighting or dogfighting is illegal...

I don't think so. Its more that the laws involved in making cockfighting and dogfighting are illegal is because it names the animals in particular. And since those laws don't say anything about mice then the law can't touch it. In fact, according to a Google and Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] cockfighting has only been illegal in every state since 2007. This might be considered inhumane to allow it to happen but considering what other 'uses' lab rats have, I don't think this was much of a legal stretch. In the end, is this moral? I don't think so. Is it legal? All signs point to yes.

Where can I buy mice in bulk? (5, Funny)

not already in use (972294) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828746)

I could totally take a bunch of mice. Can't wait to get ripped from all the extra testosterone.

Re:Where can I buy mice in bulk? (2, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828838)

And then you'd catch myxomatosis and be hyper-aggressive for months.

Re:Where can I buy mice in bulk? (3, Funny)

UninformedCoward (1738488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829042)

So your going to make a bunch of mice fight each other to create testosterone then eat the mice? The steroid market is a very weird place...

Re:Where can I buy mice in bulk? (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829886)

Check out the movies Willard [imdb.com] and Ben [imdb.com] first, altho they are rats.

Re:Where can I buy mice in bulk? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830432)

Many major pet stores will have them in bulk. They are referred to as 'feeder mice' [kingsnake.com] since they are used to as food for bigger pets, like snakes. A lot of places will sell you frozen mice, but some will have live ones

Imagine that - defending the home is a motivator. (4, Interesting)

GungaDan (195739) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828784)

I wonder what the difference in this "winner effect" is when the defend-my-own-home motivation is absent?

Re:Imagine that - defending the home is a motivato (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32828902)

Since they made a "comparison" between fighting at home and away from home you can read the paper and see the difference. Sciencey stuff is amazing like that.

Re:Imagine that - defending the home is a motivato (3, Informative)

zero_out (1705074) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828930)

The article states the the effect is MOST pronounced when a mouse is defending its home territory. This means that they also had to study the effect when that motivation was absent. If you read the full text paper, and it will tell you more. It's behind a sign in page.

Fight Club.. (1)

jamesyouwish (1738816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828824)

I wonder if Michael Vick is getting into this fight club or is Tyler Durden the only member.

Re:Fight Club.. (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829138)

Tyler Durden was the only one *not* in Fight Club... He didn't exist, after all.

Re:Fight Club.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32830282)

That depends on your definition of existence. Granted, that's for another conversation on another day... with lots of time.

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32828858)

I didn't think mice were that aggressive. How did they get them to fight?

Re:Huh? (4, Funny)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829114)

How did they get them to fight?
 
The tricky part was getting the little gloves and silk shorts on them.

Re:Huh? (2, Funny)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830298)

Well first, you have to pour each of them over a half dozen tiny mouse beers ...

Re:Huh? (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830570)

They are animals, provoked enough and the Fight or Flight response will kick in. With no where to turn in a small box though, a fight is most likely to happen. Also, mice are territorial animals. To quote this link: [animalcorner.co.uk]

Mouse Behaviour In Captivity:... Mice in the wild are very territorial.... Although male mice will behave sociable towards female mice, they can be unsociable towards other male mice where territory is concerned. Like a majority of male animals, the male mouse will protect his territory and guard it well, chasing off any other male mouse intruders. ... Male mice show their natural territorial behaviour also in captivity. It is not wise to keep males together.

This might also explain why they used male mice.

Loose Definition (1)

DIplomatic (1759914) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828876)

Looks like the definition of the word "scientist" just got a little looser.

Rage Virus (2, Funny)

IflyRC (956454) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828888)

Is this the precursor to the rage virus?

Mickey vs. Mighty (4, Funny)

moehoward (668736) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828928)

I know I'm not supposed to talk about it, but I once saw Mickey take on Mighty. Now, I put my money on Mighty. But, the bout was at Disney World. Mickey won in less than a minute. Then, all hopped up on testosterone, he basically took Jerry's head off in the next match.

I have seen stuff man. I was there. I have memories. Bad, bad memories.

Re:Mickey vs. Mighty (1)

UninformedCoward (1738488) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829090)

Its not as bad as you think. Turns out that Mickey is actually Jerry. Also, the Disney World castle is blown up.

Re:Mickey vs. Mighty (2, Funny)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829154)

But, the bout was at Disney World. Mickey won in less than a minute. Then, all hopped up on testosterone, he basically took Jerry's head off in the next match.

I'm not surprised. I heard he killed seven in one blow.

Re:Mickey vs. Mighty (1)

Pamplona Slowpoke (1130755) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829372)

I'm not surprised. I heard he killed seven in one blow.

Was this, perhaps, during gay days [gaydays.com] ?

Re:Mickey vs. Mighty (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829256)

My money's on Danger.

the romans did this with prisoners / gladiators so (2, Funny)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32828996)

the romans did this with prisoners / gladiators so why do we need to do this now with Mouses?

Re:the romans did this with prisoners / gladiators (3, Funny)

justinlee37 (993373) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829078)

Because the Romans weren't conducting a controlled scientific experiment? Because the Romans didn't write down their findings, nor were they attempting to answer a scientific question to begin with? Because what we know about gladiator fights is limited and uncertain?

I can't think of an analogy for how stupid this is; that's how stupid it is.

Re:the romans did this with prisoners / gladiators (2, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829134)

Because Christianity castrated Western Civilization to the point where people are now afraid that losing might hurt somebody's self esteem. Used to be we could stomach where losing meant disembowelment (stomach! that's a pun!). There are gains to this attitude, such as the end of slavery and the enfranchisement of women, but the pendulum has swung so far we teach our kids to be afraid of their own shadows and every little pin-prick is treated like somebody just lost a limb.

!Correlation = Causation (2, Interesting)

smitty777 (1612557) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829016)

The results of this seem a little confounded to me. They "paired favored mice with the weaker...". Didn't they just introduce a bias?

Re:!Correlation = Causation (2, Informative)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829428)

No - they were looking at deltas in the testosterone measurement, not absolute values.

Cruel (1)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829054)

What conclusions can you draw from 2 mice fighting, that might affect humanity? Other than "2 males fight and castrate one another over territory" - except wait, humans don't do that. This is cruel, and merely an excuse to burn grant money.

Re:Cruel (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830354)

Other than "2 males fight and castrate one another over territory" - except wait, humans don't do that.

What planet do you live on, and can I move there?

Don King??? (2, Funny)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829136)

One challenge they faced was ensuring the right mice won the right fights. They got around this by borrowing a trick from seedy boxing promoters the world over, pairing the favored mouse with a weaker, less sexually experienced opponent who could not hope to spring an upset.

So, these mice basically got a false sense of confidence that might have gotten themselves a boost, and managed to avoid better fighters in the process.

But, if the fights hadn't been fixed, they would have lost handily to the, er, undermouse.

Definitely sounds like real boxing to me. :-P Wake me up when one mouse wins by tap-out.

Aggression in mice? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829262)

Make them play some violent videogames first... I wonder what that would do to their aggression levels.

Did they really break the rule? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829334)

I mean, it was the mice that were in the fight club, not the researchers... and since they weren't members of the fight club, they should not bound by its rules, right?

Re:Did they really break the rule? (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830376)

I dunno... How many mice can you take on at once?

What about dogs? (1)

daeglo (1822126) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829374)

Serious question:
How is this different from Michael Vick? Just because they wrote a paper instead of collecting paper?

Kung Zhu? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829398)

Like this? http://www.kungzhu.com/index.php?/Vids-Comm/commercials-3.html [kungzhu.com]
Or more like the Hamster Fighting Machine poster?

Re:Kung Zhu? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829782)

LOL! wut?

Srsly? WTF!!1!????

I hate PITA however... (1)

narcc (412956) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829642)

This seems unnecessarily cruel and unethical.

Re:I hate PITA however... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32830106)

Well, that just sounds like sour dough to me. I don't see any way they could have performed this experiment any more ethically. I mean I don't want to seem rye, but understanding how mice brains work, which gives us a little knowledge of how our own brains work, is hugely valuable to humans and is worth a little cruelty (as little as necessary mind you).

P.S. Have you tried it with falafel?

Pinky and the Brain Cartoon (1)

oakwine (1709682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829756)

Meh ... all of this mouse psychology stuff came out in the Pinky and The Brain cartoon series. So now we have a bunch of deranged scientists doing the whole series script, no doubt at taxpayer expense through some pork barrel grant. Pretty cush I must admit, sit around and watch cartoons and then turn them into exciting "scientific" experiments. Seem to remember may 7 or 8 years ago MIT students set up a web site showing a variety of cute mice. People who registered got to vote on which cute little mouse would be treated with catnip and given to a mean looking tom cat to play with the following Friday night. Think the school made them take it down. ... Maybe these are the same students ...

Thunderdome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32829888)

Two mice go in - One mouse comes out..

Why abuse mice, humans would volunteer (2, Insightful)

marcobat (1178909) | more than 4 years ago | (#32829928)

Scientists should have simply walked to the nearest stadium.

This is Madness? (1)

Fippy Darkpaw (1269608) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830088)

No ... This Is... Mouse Fight Club !!!!

Man.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32830094)

I see in fight club the strongest and smartest mice who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see squeaking. God damn it, an entire generation running mazes, growing ears on their backs; slaves with white fur. Advertising has us chasing cheese and water, working jobs we hate so we can live in cages too big for our needs. We're the middle children of history, mouse. No purpose or place. We have no Great Plague, No Great Famine. Our Great Plague's injected in labs... our Great Famine is our own thirst for the wild sewers. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be living in piles of garbage, and mating sporadically, and following along the bottoms of walls to bigger piles of garbage. But we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.

Mouse VS Eagle! (1)

KPexEA (1030982) | more than 4 years ago | (#32830384)

http://i.imgur.com/NNPWn.jpg [imgur.com] Poor mousey never had a chance. :-(
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