Tools for

Learning and memory tests in zebrafish


The learning capabilities of zebrafish have been well-characterized in research. Many paradigms used in rodent studies, such as those using mazes, have been successfully adapted to zebrafish studies. They have been proven useful to study the effects of genetic disposition, chemical alterations, substances of abuse (such as alcohol), and promising substances in the treatment of specific disorders.

However, keeping track of zebrafish behavior can be a challenge because of their fast and often erratic movement.

 


T-maze testing

The T-maze, or variations such as the Y-maze and cross-maze, is well-validated for discriminative learning tasks. The fish learn to select a certain zone to swim to based on natural preference for the environment (color, water depth, enrichment) or certain stimuli. Taught to expect a certain reward, fish will normally learn this quite easily.

 
t maze setup
 


Advantages of using software

Latency to reach the ‘goal areas’ is an obvious parameter in learning studies, and can even be measured manually quite easily. The same is true for the amount of entries to or transitions between zones, and the relative amount of time spent in a certain zone. However, additional valuable parameters such as swimming velocity and path shape may not be measured as easily. All provide valuable information about the learning and memory capabilities of the fish and how these capabilities are influenced by genetics or drugs. Video tracking makes this an easy job, giving consistent and objective measurements for reliable data.

 


css ruud van den bos zebrafish daniovision ethovision screenshot software

EthoVision XT

EthoVision XT is a video tracking software platform to build your experiments on, and serves as a versatile and scalable solution at the core of your lab. It is easy to use, and over 2000 sites use and publish with it.

Video tracking data contains abundant information, and a large set of data selection options and parameters is at your disposal to get you the measurements you need EthoVision XT also offers a platform for fully integrated setups.

 
 


Relevant blogs

zebrafish-and-withdrawal

Zebrafish and withdrawal

Recent work done by Khor et al. (2011) looked at the effect of mitragynine on behavior in zebrafish going through withdrawal after chronic morphine exposure. The effects of Mitragynine on morphine-withdrawn zebrafish.
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The search for robust fear inducing stimuli in zebrafish research

Zebrafish behavioral research has grown by leaps and bounds, and behavioral paradigms are being developed with the aim of better understanding mechanisms that might underlie aberrant behavioral phenotypes.
zebrafish-behavioral-differences

Zebrafish research: behavioral differences between wild-type strains

Often in animal research, animals with a certain genetic alteration are compared to a “wild-type”. One might assume that there is no differences between wild-types, but many different strains of wild-type animals are used.
 
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