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Exploring object discrimination in zebrafish: behavioral performance and scopolamine-induced cognitive deficits at different retention intervals

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Flavia V. Stefanello
  • Barbara Dotto Fontana
  • Paola R. Ziani
  • Talise E. Müller
  • Nathana J. Mezzomo
  • Denis B. Rosemberg
The object discrimination test allows the testing of different memory retention periods. However, few behavioral endpoints have been measured in fish species such that retention is often assessed using a single parameter (time spent in object area). Here, we aimed to explore the object discrimination test in zebrafish by assessing their behavioral performance after 1 or 24 h retention interval periods. To characterize putative interaction-like behaviors, fish were tested in the absence or presence of scopolamine (1 h before test session). Zebrafish were habituated for 3 consecutive days in the experimental tank, and training session was performed for 10 min using two identical nonpreferred objects (black cube or sphere). After the retention intervals, a familiar object was replaced by a novel object (test session, 10 min). Fish were also exposed to the novel tank diving test to assess locomotion and anxiety-like behaviors. At 1 h retention interval, animals performed more circular-like investigation near the familiar object, whereas 24 h after training session, a prominent rapid investigation was observed when animals explore the nonfamiliar object. Because scopolamine abolished these phenotypes, as well as the increased time spent in the novel object area during the test without changing locomotion and anxiety-related parameters, the behavioral responses described here may predictively reflect interaction-like behaviors involved in object discrimination memory in zebrafish models.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-378
Issue number4
Early online date1 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Exploring object discrimination in zebrafish

    Rights statement: Final publication is available from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers

    Accepted author manuscript (Post-print), 843 KB, PDF document

    Due to publisher’s copyright restrictions, this document is not freely available to download from this website until: 1/08/20

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