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Scientists find neurons that make an alpha male

Rama / Wikipedia

A small group of neurons in the brains of mice may control whether males are aggressive or submissive in encounters with other males, according to new research.

Why it matters: Social dominance exhibited by certain males in groups — the basic definition of alpha males — is an important evolutionary trait in nearly every animal species (including, to a limited extent, humans). Male "winners" in aggressive contests or situations with peers accrue benefits, provided they keep winning.