Monday, August 3, 2009

Studies from University of Queensland have provided new information about experimental biology

According to a study from Brisbane, Australia, "Coral reef fish live in a complex world of colour and patterns. If they are to survive they need to be able to correctly identify the things they see (e. g. predators, prey) and act accordingly ( e. g. flee, feed)."

"This paper investigates whether discrimination is limited to ecologically relevant stimuli or is in fact more adaptable. Our work focuses on the reef damselfish Pomacentrus amboinensis. Within a day or two of capture the fish demonstrated an ability to associate an arbitrary stimulus with a food reward and to discriminate the reward stimulus from a distractor matched along various physical dimensions. In our initial experiments the reward was directly associated with the target. In the final experiment, however, the reward was separated from the target in both space and time, thereby eliminating a weakness applicable to the majority of food reward experiments involving fish; namely, the presence of olfactory cues emanating from the feeding tubes. All fish were not only able to solve this task but also showed anticipatory behaviour (also referred to as goal tracking)," wrote U.E. Siebeck and colleagues, University of Queensland (see also Experimental Biology).

The researchers concluded: "Freshly caught reef fish not only are able to quickly learn and discriminate between novel stimuli on the basis of shape but are also able to interpret stimuli as a predictor for the availability of food at a different time and place (anticipatory behaviour)."

Siebeck and colleagues published the results of their research in the Journal of Experimental Biology (Shape learning and discrimination in reef fish. Journal of Experimental Biology, 2009;212(13):2112-2118).

For additional information, contact U.E. Siebeck, University of Queensland, ARC Center Excellence Vis Science, School Biomedical Science, Sensory Neurobiology Group, Brisbane, Qld 4072, Australia.

The publisher of the Journal of Experimental Biology can be contacted at: Company of Biologists Ltd., Bidder Building Cambridge Commercial Park Cowley Rd., Cambridge CB4 4DL, Cambs, England.

Keywords: Australia, Brisbane, Life Sciences, Biology, University of Queensland.

This article was prepared by Science Letter editors from staff and other reports. Copyright 2009, Science Letter via

Source Citation:"Studies from University of Queensland have provided new information about experimental biology." Science Letter (July 14, 2009): 1294. Academic OneFile. Gale. BROWARD COUNTY LIBRARY. 3 Aug. 2009
Gale Document Number:A203801239

Disclaimer:This information is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for professional care.

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