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Department of Molecular Life Sciences Neuhauss group

Assessment of Zebrafish Behavior

Our laboratory has a long tradition of developing behavioral assays of visual behaviors. These include automated version of the optokinetic reflex, well suited to assess visual performance of zebrafish larvae in a “fish theatre”.

Other established assays are automated operant choice discrimination set-ups to assess cognitive functions, such as color discrimination and memory.

Finally we regularly use commercial and custom developed tracking assays to study among others motor coordination and social behavior. 

A short excerpt from a behavioural trial being run on a Zantiks LT. This device allows for automated behavioural training, avoiding potential interference through the tester. What you see here is a fish being trained to successively enter whichever aperture is lit up with a white light to obtain a food reward in the feeding area on the left.


People involved:

Prof. Stephan Neuhauss

Marco Garbelli, MSc

Luca Hess


Selected publications:

Mueller KP, Neuhauss SC* (2012) Automated Visual Choice Discrimination Learning in Zebrafish (Danio rerio). Journal of Integrative Neuroscience 11(1), 73-85


Mueller KP, Schnaedelbach OD, Russig HD, Neuhauss SC (2011) VisioTracker, an Innovative Automated Approach to Oculomotor Analysis. J Vis Exp. 56. pii: 3556


Mueller, K. P., Neuhauss, S. C.* (2010). Quantitative measurements of the optokinetic response in adult fish. J Neurosci Methods. 186, 29-34


Huang, YY, Neuhauss, SCF* (2008). The optokinetic response in zebrafish and its applications. Frontiers in Bioscience 13, 1899-1916.