In many social hierarchies, more subordinate individuals adjust their behaviour according to the presence or behaviour of more dominant individuals. In this study, it is shown that male mice form linear dominance hierarchies characterized by individuals attacking in bursts. Temporal pairwise-correlation analysis reveals that non-dominant individuals avoid behaving aggressively concurrently with an aggressively behaving alpha male. This anti-correlation is only found with alpha males and is greater for more despotic alpha males. It is concluded that less dominant individuals modulate their aggressive behaviour in response to their social context, resulting in an attentional group structure.
- Received March 6, 2016.
- Accepted April 20, 2016.
- © 2016 The Author(s)
Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.