The possible role of eyespot patterns in predator recognition by paradise fish was examined using a passive avoidance conditioning technique with various dummies or live goldfish. It was found that a low-intensity shock, although clearly uncomfortable, elicited exploratory behavior in the fish and that observable learning did not occur. However, if the paradise fish was shocked in the presence of a live goldfish or various fish dummies, exploration diminished and avoidance learning was detected. This was characterized by a considerable increase in latency to enter the shocked compartment. The most effective dummies were those with two laterally arranged eye-like spots. The possible role of species-specific key stimuli in avoidance learning and organizing defensive behavior of the paradise fish is discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Animal Science and Zoology
- Behavioral Neuroscience