Temporal microstructure of dyadic social behavior during relationship formation in mice

Autoři: Won Lee aff001;  Jiayi Fu aff002;  Neal Bouwman aff001;  Pam Farago aff001;  James P. Curley aff001
Působiště autorů: Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America aff001;  Department of Statistics Graduate Program, Washington University in Saint Louis, Saint Louis, Missouri, United States of America aff002;  Department of Statistics Master’s Program, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America aff003;  Center for Integrative Animal Behavior, Columbia University, New York, New York, United States of America aff004;  Department of Psychology, University of Texas, Austin, Texas, United States of America aff005
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0220596


Socially competent animals must learn to modify their behavior in response to their social partner in a contextually appropriate manner. Dominant-subordinate relationships are a particularly salient social context for mice. Here we observe and analyze the microstructure of social and non-social behaviors as 21 pairs of outbred CD-1 male mice (Mus Musculus) establish dominant-subordinate relationships during daily 20-minute interactions for five consecutive days in a neutral environment. Firstly, using a Kleinberg burst detection algorithm, we demonstrate aggressive and subordinate interactions occur in bursting patterns followed by quiescent periods rather than being uniformly distributed across social interactions. Secondly, we identify three phases of dominant-subordinate relationship development (pre-, middle-, and post-resolution) by utilizing two statistical methods to identify stability in aggressive and subordinate behavior across these bursts. Thirdly, using First Order Markov Chains we find that dominant and subordinate mice show distinct behavioral transitions, especially between tail rattling and other aggressive/subordinate behaviors. Further, dominant animals engaged in more digging and allogrooming behavior and were more likely to transition from sniffing their partner’s body to head, whereas subordinates were more likely to transition from head sniffing to side-by-side contact. Lastly, we utilized a novel method (Forward Spike Time Tiling Coefficient) to assess how individuals respond to the behaviors of their partner. We found that subordinates decrease their tail rattling and aggressive behavior in response to aggressive but not subordinate behavior exhibited by dominants and that tail rattling in particular may function to deescalate aggressive behavior in pairs. Our findings demonstrate that CD-1 male mice rapidly establish dominance relationships and modify their social and non-social behaviors according to their current social status. The methods that we detail also provide useful tools for other researchers wishing to evaluate the temporal dynamics of rodent social behavior.

Klíčová slova:

Aggression – Animal behavior – Animal sociality – Biological locomotion – Interpersonal relationships – Mice – Microstructure – Social status


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