Place versus response learning in fish: a comparison between species.

Claire L. McAroe, Cathy M. Craig, Richard A. Holland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Place learning is thought to be an adaptive and
flexible facet of navigation. Due to the flexibility of this
learning, it is thought to be more complex than the simpler
strategies such as learning a particular route or navigating
through the use of cues. Place learning is crucial in a
familiar environment as it allows an individual to successfully
navigate to the same endpoint, regardless of
where in the environment the journey begins. Much of the
research to date focusing on different strategies employed
for navigation has used human subjects or other mammals
such as rodents. In this series of experiments, the spatial
memory of four different species of fish (goldfish, killifish,
zebrafish and Siamese fighting fish) was analysed using a
plus maze set-up. Results suggest that three of the species
showed a significant preference for the adoption of a place
strategy during this task, whereas zebrafish showed no
significant preference. Furthermore, zebrafish took significantly
longer to learn the task than the other species.
Finally, results suggest that zebrafish took the least amount
of time (seconds) to complete trials both during training
and probe.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)153-161
Number of pages9
JournalAnimal Cognition
Issue number1
Early online date18 Sept 2015
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Jan 2016


  • navigation, spatial memory, fish, alloentric learning


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