New research conducted on mice has led scientists from the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, to conclude that the brain processes that dominate during stressful situations are also those that gauge the development of friendships.
The research, published yesterday in the Nature Neuroscience journal, indicates that a parallel can be drawn between the social functioning of mice and of human beings.
According to Professor Elon Chen, the Professor in charge of the research, the motivation behind the research was to try to find the correct balance between "the expectations of the collective and the needs of the individual. [...] between pressure exerted on us from the outside and our emotional reactions to this pressure."
The research found that mice that were better mentally equipped for stressful situations were also more aggressive in seeking the companionship of other mice. In contrast, those less ready to deal with stress were more likely to stick with acquaintances.