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Behav Processes. 2008 Jan;77(1):126-30. Epub 2007 Jun 22.

Time-place learning in food-restricted Nile tilapia.

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Departamento de Fisiologia, Instituto de Biociências, UNESP, Rubião Jr. s/n, Botucatu 18618-000, SP, Brazil.


Time-place learning based on food association was investigated in eight food-restricted Nile tilapias. Each fish was individually housed for 10 days in an experimental tank for adjustments to laboratory conditions, and fed daily in excess. Feeding was then interrupted for 17 days. Training was then started, based on a food-restricted regime in a tank divided into three interconnected compartments. Daily food was offered in one compartment (left or right side) of the tank in the morning and on the opposite side in the afternoon, for a continuous 30-day period. Frequency of choices on the right side was measured on days 10, 20 and 30 (during these test days, fish were not fed). Following this 30-day conditioning period, the Nile tilapias were able to switch sides at the correct period of the day to get food, suggesting that food restriction facilitates time-place learning discrimination.

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