Overview and Meaning
Mediated aggression normally represents the vast majority of mouse agonistic interactions, and is widely misinterpreted in the literature. In contrast, escalated aggression occurs when a subordinate responds to a threat behavior with an aggressive behavior, most typically an aggressive bite. Escalated aggression, as the name implies, escalates until one animal shows flight and submissive behavior, or, in a worst-case scenario, is killed or castrated. (Male mice attempt to castrate each other when they fight, and consequently withdraw their testicles into the body cavity during aggression).