Ph.D, University of Göttingen, Germany (Neuroscience)
Social hierarchy is associated with various phenotypes. Although memory is known to be important for hierarchy formation, the difference in memory abilities between dominant and subordinate individuals remains unclear. In this study, we examined memory performance in mice with different social ranks and found better memory abilities in dominant mice, along with greater long-term potentiation and higher memory-related gene expression in the hippocampus. Daily injection of memory-improving drugs could also enhance dominance. To validate this correlation across species, through inventory, behavioral and event-related potential studies, we identified better memory abilities in preschool children with higher social dominance. Better memory potentially helped children process dominance facial cues and learn social strategies to acquire higher positions. Our study shows a remarkable similarity between humans and mice in the association between memory and social hierarchy and provides valuable insight into social interactions in young animals, with potential implications for preschool education.