Thursday, July 03, 2014

Smarter Than You Think: Fish Can Remember Where They Were Fed 12 Days Later

It is popularly believed that fish have a memory span of only 30 seconds. Canadian scientists, however, have demonstrated that this is far from true – in fact, fish can remember context and associations up to twelve days later. The researchers studied African Cichlids (Labidochromis caeruleus), a popular aquarium species. These fish demonstrate many complex behaviours, including aggression, causing the scientists to predict that they could be capable of advanced memory tasks. Each fish was trained to enter a particular zone of the aquarium to receive a food reward, with each training session lasting twenty minutes. After three training days, the fish were given a twelve day rest period. The fish were then reintroduced into their training arena and their movements recorded with motion-tracking software. It was found that the cichlids showed a distinct preference for the area associated with the food reward, suggesting that they recalled the previous training experiences. Furthermore, the fish were able to reverse this association after further training sessions where the food reward was associated with a different stimulus. more

No comments: