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Understanding how the nervous system of animals recognizes salient stimuli in the environment, selects and executes appropriate behavioral responses is one of the fundamental questions in systems neuroscience. To facilitate the neuroethological study of visually guided behavior in larval fish, Bianko et al. (2011) developed virtual reality assays in which precisely controlled visual cues can be presented to larvae whilst their behavior is automatically monitored using machine vision algorithms. Freely swimming larval zebrafish, Danio rerio, responded to moving stimuli in an evident size-dependent manner. They turned towards small moving spots (1°) but reacted to larger spots (10°) with the high amplitude aversive turns. Bianco et al. (2011) adapted their virtual reality assay to deliver artificial visual cues to partially restrained larvae and found that small moving spots evoked convergent eye movements with J-turns of the tail. According to their assumption, eye convergence represents the predatory mode of behavior in larval fish and serves to increase the region of binocular visual space to enable stereoscopic targeting of prey.




Check basic references to understand other aspects of the neuromotor grounds of the behavioural responses to artificial and natural visual stimuli in the larval zebrafish.

Basic References

Bianco I.H., Kampff A.R., Engert F. 2011. Prey capture behavior evoked by simple visual stimuli in larval zebrafish. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscence 5, 1-13

Borla M.A., Palecek B., Budick S., OMalley D.M. 2002. Prey capture by larval zebrafish: evidence for fine axial motor control. Brain, Behavior & Evolution 60, 207-229

Budick S.A., O’Malley D.M. 2000. Locomotor repertoire of the larval zebrafish: swimming, turning and prey capture. Journal of Experimental Biology 203, 2565-2579

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Category: Ethology | Views: 816 | Added by: nickyurchenko | Date: 2013-03-30

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