Alcohol Impairs learning of T-maze Task but Not Active Avoidance Task in Zebrafish

  • Yang, Sunggu (Department of Biological Science and Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Inha University) ;
  • Kim, Wansik (Department of Biological Science and Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Inha University) ;
  • Choi, Byung-Hee (Department of Biological Science and Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Inha University) ;
  • Koh, Hae-Young (Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine) ;
  • Lee, Chang-Joong (Department of Biological Science and Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Inha University)
  • Published : 2003.12.01


The aim of this study is to investigate whether alcohol alters learning and memory processes pertaining to emotional and spatial factors using the active avoidance and T-maze task in zebrafish. In the active avoidance task, zebrafish were trained to escape from one compartment to another to avoid electric shocks (unconditioned stimulus) following a conditioned light signal. Acquisition of active avoidance task appeared to be normal in zebrafish that were treated with 1% alcohol for 30 min for 17 days until the end of the behavioral test, and retention ability of learned behavior, tested 2 days later, was the same as control group. In the T-maze task, the time to find a reservoir was compared. While the latency was similar during the 1 st training session between control and alcohol-treated zebrafish, it was significantly longer in alcohol-treated zebrafish during retention test 24 h later. Furthermore, when alcohol was treated 30 min after 2nd session without prior treatment, zebrafish demonstrated similar retention ability compared to control. These results suggest that chronic alcohol treatment alters spatial learning of zebrafish, but not emotional learning.


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