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The study was conducted on mice and the scientists were looking for connections between being bullied and certain changes in the brains. The researchers are hoping to get some more information regarding depression and other mental illnesses from this study.

It has been revealed that the small mice that have been intimidated by bigger mice have suffered from genetic changes in the brain. The stress that small mice were under produced excessive levels of a substance, called BDNF, which controls whether the bullied mice would turn fearful or not.

Small brown mice were exposed to the presence of aggressive large white mouse. After this, they divided the cage with Plexiglas for 24 hours so that the little mouse could see and smell the aggressor but was in no danger. For the following ten days the small mice were exposed again to new bullies and acted pretty scared. Four weeks after that, they still showed signs of fearfulness and social withdrawal.

It was later found that the bullied mice experienced marked BDNF increases, which lead to switching on several hundred genes located in the front part of the brain. This gene activation mimicked the animals' social withdrawal.


very interesting.