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Physiol Behav. 2003 Oct;80(1):49-56.

Involvement of the telencephalon in spaced-trial avoidance learning in the goldfish (Carassius auratus).

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Laboratorio de Psicobiología, Departamento de Psicología Experimental, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad de Sevilla, c/ Camilo José Cela, s/n 41018, Sevilla, Spain.


Goldfish (Carassius auratus) received escape-avoidance training in a shuttle-response situation at a rate of a single trial per day. Widely spaced training evaluates the ability of a discriminative stimulus to control an avoidance response in the absence of stimulus carry-over effects from prior recent trials. In Experiment 1, master goldfish exhibited significantly faster avoidance learning than yoked controls. The results suggest that the shuttle response was instrumentally acquired. Experiment 2 demonstrated a significant deficit in the acquisition of avoidance behavior following ablation of the telencephalon. The implications of spaced-trial, telencephalon-dependent avoidance learning, as demonstrated in these experiments for the first time, are discussed in the context of comparative research on instrumental learning in goldfish. These results provide further support for the hypothesis that the fish telencephalon contains an emotional system that is critical for fear conditioning.

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