Other links:

Other links:

Event Calendar

Loading Events

Quantitative cognition in Zebrafish (Danio rerio)

  • This event has passed.

Abstract:
Quantitative cognition enables organisms to compare different quantities or magnitudes of available choices to make decisions in various ecologically relevant tasks like foraging, predator evasion, and social and sexual aggregations. The low resolution of human brain imaging has limited our understanding of human quantitative cognition and thus animal model systems are required to unravel the neural circuitry behind quantitative cognition. Zebrafish, a model system in which whole brain imaging with single neuron resolution, is an apt model to study quantitative discrimination tasks and the underlying neural pathways. The first project in my thesis looks at the ability of zebrafish to learn to associate visual symbols with the quantity of food reward they receive, where the visual symbols bear numerosity and predict food reward quantity. I take this work forward by looking at the intersection between quantitative cognition and object recognition, based on object motion and form characteristics. The next project is looking at the ability of zebrafish larvae to discriminate between two groups of social conspecifics using a social preference test. I am implementing biological motion (BM) stimuli, which stems from the phenomenon of recognizing animate objects based on their motion characteristics. BM stimuli is used to present the stimuli in quantitative cognition tasks in these projects. Subsequent parts of my thesis employs BM stimuli of prey and predators to investigate the quantitative discrimination abilities of zebrafish larvae in the context of hunting behavior and anti-predatory strategies respectively. Establishing these quantitative cognition paradigms in zebrafish larvae pave the way for understanding the neural circuitry behind them using calcium imaging in awake larvae while they perform these tasks.

About Speaker:

Nawaf is presently pursuing his PhD in the Neuroethology lab under the guidance of Dr. Bittu in the Department of Biology, Ashoka University. His primary research interests are fish behavior and cognition with an interest in decision making and collective behavior. He completed his integrated BS-MS degree from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Thiruvananthapuram, where he worked on context dependency of grouping behavior in zebrafish in Dr Ullasa Kodandaramaiah’s lab. He is interested in understanding quantitative cognition in zebrafish as a part of his PhD project where he is currently working on behavioral experiments looking at quantitative discrimination tasks in zebrafish in the aspects of social aggregation, predation and anti-predatory strategies  

Study at Ashoka

Study at Ashoka

    [current_url]