Send to

Choose Destination
J Neurosci Methods. 2002 Aug 30;118(2):177-87.

High-throughput behavioral screening method for detecting auditory response defects in zebrafish.

Author information

Department of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School and The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


We have developed an automated, high-throughput behavioral screening method for detecting hearing defects in zebrafish. Our assay monitors a rapid escape reflex in response to a loud sound. With this approach, 36 adult zebrafish, restrained in visually isolated compartments, can be simultaneously assessed for responsiveness to near-field 400 Hz sinusoidal tone bursts. Automated, objective determinations of responses are achieved with a computer program that obtains images at precise times relative to the acoustic stimulus. Images taken with a CCD video camera before and after stimulus presentation are subtracted to reveal a response to the sound. Up to 108 fish can be screened per hour. Over 6500 fish were tested to validate the reliability of the assay. We found that 1% of these animals displayed hearing deficits. The phenotypes of non-responders were further assessed with radiological analysis for defects in the gross morphology of the auditory system. Nearly all of those showed abnormalities in conductive elements of the auditory system: the swim bladder or Weberian ossicles.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center