Bold zebrafish (danio rerio) learn faster in an associative learning task (2024)

Corcoran, J., Storks, L., & Wong, R. Y. (2024). Bold zebrafish (Danio rerio) learn faster in an associative learning task. bioRxiv 2024.01.30.578005.

doi: 10.1101/2024.01.30.578005


Animals differ in their ability to learn. One potential factor contributing to learning differences is personality types. We investigated the relationship between learning and the bold-shy continuum by testing learning performance of bold and shy zebrafish across two associative learning tasks: conditioned place preference (CPP) and 2 choice. Bold fish learned significantly faster than the shy fish but there were no differences in the magnitude of change in behavior between the personality types in CPP. When tested in the 2 choice task, we found no clear evidence of learning between personality types or controls. Overall, our study suggests that bold fish tend to be faster learners when compared to shy fish. The lack of differences in the final change in behavior suggests that the learning difference is due to neophobic tendencies and resulting initial interactions with the learning stimulus.