A bully seems to have an unabating negative influence on the victim. Scientists have observed this unnerving effect of big mice on small ones, and the findings have revealed that stress can cause certain genetic changes in the brain. This finding can go a long way in supporting the research into depression and mental illness.
This finding initiated by the Texas Researchers, which has been published in the journal Science, has also linked a part of the brain responsible for addiction with anxiety and social awkwardness. This substance, named as BDNF, retains the controls that predict whether fear can actually turn its target into a potential recluse.
The Texas researchers exposed small brown mice to fear, of greater intensity than the normal course. The Mice was made to face an aggressive opponent in a cage, a large white mouse, and was invariably pushed into a corner.
It was found that the mice, when exposed to fear, turned out to be cowardly and daunted. A month later, they still backed off fearfully, even from ostensibly friendly mice.