Appropriate maze methodology to study learning in fish

Seraphina Chung


Using various sorts of mazes, researchers have gained much insight into the cognitive psychology of fish, particularly spatial and visual discrimination learning, along with the biochemical, morphological and ecological aspects of learning. Fish are known to orient themselves using landmarks, and, in some cases, create mental maps of geometric relationships using several landmarks. It is possible that by understanding the mapping mechanisms of fish we may one day uncover the possible evolutionary relationships in higher vertebrates. This is possible because the telencephalic structures became specialized early in the evolution of vertebrates for learning map-like representations of the environment. This review investigates the use of mazes (open-field, Y-maze, T-maze, radial, and multi-chamber) to learn more about spatial learning and memory in fish. To date, it has been shown that mazes are the most efficient way of studying the spatial capabilities of fish. Videographic experimentation in the natural environment would help to draw definitive conclusions on the cognitive capacities of fish.


conditioning; fish; learning; mazes; telencephalon

© University of Toronto Journal of Undergraduate Life Sciences.