Valente, A., Huang, K.H., Portugues, R., and Engert, F. (2012) Ontogeny of classical and operant learning behaviors in zebrafish. Learning & memory (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.). 19:170-177.
The performance of developing zebrafish in both classical and operant conditioning assays was tested with a particular focus
on the emergence of these learning behaviors during development. Strategically positioned visual cues paired with electroshocks
were used in two fully automated assays to investigate both learning paradigms. These allow the evaluation of the behavioral
performance of zebrafish continuously throughout development, from larva to adult. We found that learning improves throughout
development, starts reliably around week 3, and reaches adult performance levels at week 6. Adult fish quickly learned to
perform perfectly, and the expression of the learned behavior is manifestly controlled by vision. The memory is behaviorally
expressed in adults for at least 6 h and retrievable for at least 12 h.
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