||Learning is likely to be costly and thus subject to trade-off with other components of life history. An obvious prediction, therefore, is that investment in learning, and thus learning performance, will vary with individual life history strategy and the reproductive value of the learning outcome. We tested this idea in the context of social dominance in male laboratory mice, using a simple radial maze paradigm to compare the ability of high- and low-ranking male mice to track changing food location. We tested animals in randomly selected pairs before and after establishing aggressive rank relationships to distinguish intrinsic differences in learning ability from those attributable to acquiring high or low rank. There was no difference in learning between later dominants and subordinates prior to establishing rank relationships. After pairing, however, dominants showed a significantly greater percentage of correct responses, with the difference being greatest earlier in a sequence of trials. The percentage of correct responses also increased with the amount of aggression initiated during pairing. The results thus appeared to reflect a state-dependent change in learning associated with the aggressive social relationships formed during pairing.