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In search of optimal fear inducing stimuli: differential behavioral responses to computer animated images in zebrafish
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-08, 16:23 authored by Ruxandra Luca, Robert Gerlai
Zebrafish has been gaining popularity in behavioral genetics and behavioral neuroscience as this species offers an excellent compromise between system complexity and practical simplicity for mechanistic analyses of brain and behavior function. Recently, a number of studies started to investigate methods with which fear responses may be induced reliably in zebrafish. The ultimate goal of these studies has been to develop zebrafish models of pathological processes and to investigate the mechanisms of fear and to eventually translate the findings to the human clinic. Previously, animated image of a sympatric predator of zebrafish was shown to induce fear responses. Here we expand on this recently gained knowledge and investigate whether other moving images may induce more robust fear responses. The images investigated include the original sympatric predator, the Indian leaf fish, another sympatric predator, the needle fish, a bird silhouette moved on the side or above the tank, an expanding dot mimicking rapid approach of an object shown on the side and from above the tank, as well as non-fear inducing images including a single and a group of zebrafish. Our results indicate that although the sympatric predators do induce some fear responses, the other images, particularly the expanding dot but also the bird silhouette shown from above are more effective. The results also reveal a stimulus dependent motor pattern response repertoire of zebrafish demonstrating that perhaps univariate quantification methods may not be appropriate for uncovering the complexity of fear or anxiety related phenotypical changes in this species.
JournalBehavioural Brain Research
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