Student Author Information

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Access Type

Campus Access Only

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2019

Department

Psychology

Abstract

Abstract

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are increasingly utilized as a model for behavioral research. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Zebra fish demonstrate a preference for one of two 2D stimuli and whether this preference can be used to provide improved environmental enrichment. The stimuli used in this study were round shapes with either a smooth or jagged edge. A T-maze with one side wrapped in paper printed with jagged edge shapes and the other side wrapped with smooth shapes was used to test for shape preference. Preference for one shape was indicated if the animal spent over 50% of the trial on that side. Fish were then randomly assigned to either a matched (tank wrapped with preferred shape) or mismatched (tank wrapped with non preferred shape) environment. After 14 days of exposure, fish were measured for anxiety using the novel tank task. It is expected that fish exposed to an environment that matches their preferences will exhibit lower anxiety compared to fish exposed to a mismatched environment. This study also provided opportunity to examine object preference in zebra fish, which could have implications for natural shape discrimination in this species.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Hanna Pepper

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Apr 10th, 2:00 PM

PREFERRED ENVIRONMENTAL ENRICHMENT IN ZEBRAFISH

Abstract

Zebrafish (Danio rerio) are increasingly utilized as a model for behavioral research. The purpose of this study was to determine whether Zebra fish demonstrate a preference for one of two 2D stimuli and whether this preference can be used to provide improved environmental enrichment. The stimuli used in this study were round shapes with either a smooth or jagged edge. A T-maze with one side wrapped in paper printed with jagged edge shapes and the other side wrapped with smooth shapes was used to test for shape preference. Preference for one shape was indicated if the animal spent over 50% of the trial on that side. Fish were then randomly assigned to either a matched (tank wrapped with preferred shape) or mismatched (tank wrapped with non preferred shape) environment. After 14 days of exposure, fish were measured for anxiety using the novel tank task. It is expected that fish exposed to an environment that matches their preferences will exhibit lower anxiety compared to fish exposed to a mismatched environment. This study also provided opportunity to examine object preference in zebra fish, which could have implications for natural shape discrimination in this species.