In humans, aging and neurodegenerative diseases have been found to be associated with impairment in both mathematical abilities and estimation of continuous quantities such as size, weight or distance. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is rapidly becoming a model for human aging and brain disorders but we currently lack any instrument for rapid assessment of quantity estimation abilities in this species. Here we developed a simple method based on spontaneous preference of zebrafish for using the larger available hole to pass an obstacle. We collected a large amount of data from small groups of zebrafish moving between compartments of their tank and we used these normative data to compare the performance of individually tested fish. Zebrafish significantly discriminated size ratios from 0.60 to 0.91 with their performance decreasing while increasing the size ratio between the smaller and the larger hole presented. On average, individually tested fish showed the same performance, but a large inter-individual variability was observed. Test-retest analyses revealed a good reliability of this test, with 0.60 and 0.75 ratios being the most informative. Experience did not affect individual performance, suggesting the suitability of this test to measure the longitudinal changes and the effects of pharmacological treatments on cognitive abilities.

Size discrimination in adult zebrafish (Danio rerio): Normative data and individual variation

Santaca M.;Miletto Petrazzini M. E.;Agrillo C.;Bisazza A.
2020

Abstract

In humans, aging and neurodegenerative diseases have been found to be associated with impairment in both mathematical abilities and estimation of continuous quantities such as size, weight or distance. Zebrafish (Danio rerio) is rapidly becoming a model for human aging and brain disorders but we currently lack any instrument for rapid assessment of quantity estimation abilities in this species. Here we developed a simple method based on spontaneous preference of zebrafish for using the larger available hole to pass an obstacle. We collected a large amount of data from small groups of zebrafish moving between compartments of their tank and we used these normative data to compare the performance of individually tested fish. Zebrafish significantly discriminated size ratios from 0.60 to 0.91 with their performance decreasing while increasing the size ratio between the smaller and the larger hole presented. On average, individually tested fish showed the same performance, but a large inter-individual variability was observed. Test-retest analyses revealed a good reliability of this test, with 0.60 and 0.75 ratios being the most informative. Experience did not affect individual performance, suggesting the suitability of this test to measure the longitudinal changes and the effects of pharmacological treatments on cognitive abilities.
2020
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3339370
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