The DYRK1A gene is associated with Down syndrome, but recent studies suggest it also plays a role in autism. This is hard to investigate in murine models, due to the high mortality rate in knockout models. Kim et al. (Molecular Autism, 2017) published results using a zebrafish knockout model that indeed showed signs of autism.

Tracking activity and social behavior

Tracking both larval and adult fish with DanioVision and EthoVision XT, they found that sleep and waking behavior did not differ from that of wild type zebrafish, but social interaction and shoaling were impaired, indicating autistic-like behavior.

Dark flash test

One of the test in DanioVision was a dark flash test in which dark flash pulses were used to induce a startle response. These lights conditions are programmed and controlled in the included EthoVision XT software. With EthoVision XT, the startle response was measured by taking the distances moved per 10-second time bins.


The locomotor activity, as measured by EthoVision XT in 30-second time bins during day and night phases, was used to assess sleep and waking behavior.

Read more about this research on our blog

Zebrafish research with DanioVision

Larvae activity and movement patterns are basic measurements used in many studies. They can reveal information on stereotypic and epileptic behaviors, circadian rhythmicity, motor control, movement disorders, neural development, and more.

DanioVision is a complete system designed for exactly these types of experiments with zebrafish larvae, and is often used in studies related to drug development, safety pharmacology, behavioral genetics, and circadian rhythmicity.

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Kim, O.-H.; Cho, H.-J.; Han, E.; Hong, T.I.; Ariyasiri, K.; Choi, J.H.; Hwang, K.-S.; Jeong, Y.-M.; Yang, S.-Y.; Yu, K.; Park, D.-S.; Oh, H.-W.; Davis, E.E.; Schwartz, C.E.; Lee, J.-S.; Kim, H.-G.; Kim, C.-H. (2017). Zebrafish knockout of Down syndrome gene, DYRK1A, shows social impairments relevant to autismMolecular Autism8, 50.