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Effect of social isolation on learning in the fish Cichlasoma paranaense

Grant number: 12/10903-5
Support Opportunities:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2012
Effective date (End): February 28, 2014
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Animal Behavior
Principal Investigator:Eliane Gonçalves de Freitas
Grantee:Manuela Lombardi Brandão
Host Institution: Instituto de Biociências, Letras e Ciências Exatas (IBILCE). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de São José do Rio Preto. São José do Rio Preto , SP, Brazil


Cognitive processes such as memory and learning, are important factors for the development and survival of the animals, once they modulate the behavior towards environmental variations. The animals' learning, for example, can be affected by stress or even by social and environmental stimuli received. Thus, social isolation, besides stressor, can reduce the amount of stimulation required for the cognitive development of individuals. Therefore we will test the hypothesis that social isolation reduces performance in learning new tasks in fish. For this reason, a task involving spatial learning will be given to juvenile cichlid Cichlasoma paranaense. Two treatments will be used: one with isolated animals and another with grouped animals (three fishes / group) (n = 16 per treatment) in which animals must learn to associate a visual cue to where the food (reward) is accessible. The test will last 15 days. The latency so that tasks are completed will be quantified and the number of errors will be measured. The latency for learning in each treatment will be compared using unpaired t-test (parametric data) or Mann-Whitney test (nonparametric data), whereas the frequency of individuals who learned the task will be compared by Binomial test, leading into account p<0.05 as statistical significance. Will be studied for the first time as social isolation affects learning in fish. In addition, questions about welfare in these animals will be elucidated, once social individuals are often kept in isolated aquaria to avoid fights, which are part of social behavior in many fish species. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
BRANDAO, MANUELA LOMBARDI; BRAITHWAITE, VICTORIA A.; GONCALVES-DE-FREITAS, ELIANE. Isolation impairs cognition in a social fish. APPLIED ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR SCIENCE, v. 171, p. 204-210, . (12/10903-5)
Academic Publications
(References retrieved automatically from State of São Paulo Research Institutions)
BRANDÃO, Manuela Lombardi. Social isolation in a group living fish impairs cognition. 2014. Master's Dissertation - Universidade Estadual Paulista (Unesp). Instituto de Biociências Letras e Ciências Exatas. São José do Rio Preto São José do Rio Preto.

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