Long-term object recognition memory in goldfish (Carassius auratus)


Object recognition memory is the ability to discriminate between novel and familiar objects. This form of memory aids fish in natural environments in avoiding predators, locating food, choosing mates, and selecting a suitable habitat. Many species have shown object recognition memory using adaptations of the novel object recognition (NOR) task. Fish (e.g., zebrafish, guppies, damselfish) remember objects after intervals from 5 min to 24 hr. The present study utilized the NOR task to evaluate if seven goldfish remembered objects after memory intervals ranging from 5 min to 30 days. The objects were plastic figurines of aquatic animals (e.g., whale, octopus). Preliminary results for the 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 30 min, 45 min, 60 min, 2 hr, 4 hr, and 6 hr sessions indicated memory for objects in the 5 minute, 10 minute, and 30 minute intervals. Four out of seven fish showed a preference to touch the novel stimulus more often than the familiar stimulus. Additional subjects are being tested and statistical analyses are ongoing. Contrary to the popular myth of a three second memory, these results using the NOR task suggest that goldfish remember objects for many minutes, possibly multiple hours or days.

Apr 7, 2021 — Apr 10, 2021
Virtual conference
Kenneth Tyler Wilcox
Kenneth Tyler Wilcox
Postdoctoral Associate

My research interests include Bayesian statistics, multilevel modeling, integrative data analysis, meta-analysis, topic modeling, mixture modeling, statistical programming, and cognition and clinical psychology.