Navigation Links
Brainy courage of the rainbowfish

The boldest black-lined rainbowfish are those that are born in the wild. Also more fearless are those that analyze information both sides of their brains. This is the conclusion of Australian researchers Culum Brown and Anne-Laurence Bibost from Macquarie University, in a study published in Springer's journal Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology.

The preference to analyze and react to information with either the left or right hemisphere of the brain is called cerebral lateralization, and is widespread among vertebrates. Lateralization is seen in the preference of humans or parrots to use one hand or claw over the other or to always turn to the same side when moving around objects.

The researchers first tested wild rainbowfish against captive rainbowfish. They then used a modified version of the mirror test to find out if a fish showed a lateral preference to view itself with either its left or right eye. Levels of boldness were tested by timing how long it took a fish to emerge from a safe hiding place.

Non-lateralized fish that did not analyze information in a specific brain hemisphere were significantly bolder than both left- and right-lateralized fish. This suggests that fear is heightened when primarily processed by a single hemisphere, making lateralized fish less bold. Previous studies have shown that complex tasks are more difficult to perform when information processing is shared between two brain hemispheres. It therefore boils down to a question of speed. A non-lateralized fish in a potentially life-threatening situation must first draw information from both hemispheres, and compare and integrate it before it can make a decision. Strongly lateralized fish, on the other hand, can act more quickly because they only draw on information from a single hemisphere.

If non-lateralized fish process fear-related stimuli comparatively slowly or inefficiently, it may be that the moderating effect of fear is somewhat lessened in comparison to strongly lateralized fish. The researchers think this may result in a reduced level of fear generally, or perhaps the decision to explore is already made before the moderating effect of fear comes into play. Either scenario would adequately explain their observation that non-lateralized fish are bolder than lateralized fish.

The researchers were not surprised that wild fish were significantly bolder than captive-reared fish, as previous work they had done showed that populations that are hunted by predators were braver than those from low-predation areas.

"The similarities between personality and laterality are certainly intriguing and hint at a single underlying function or mechanism," says Brown. "We suggest that these aspects of personality traits are actually caused by variation in laterality."


Contact: Renate Bayaz

Related biology news :

1. Brainy beverage: Study reveals how green tea boosts brain cell production to aid memory
2. Starting a family does not encourage parents to eat healthier
3. Begin early: Researchers say water with meals may encourage wiser choices
4. Want to encourage eco-friendly behavior? Give consumers a nudge (Dont tell them what to do)
5. An energy conscious workforce: New research looks at how to encourage staff to go green
6. Hypertension researcher encourages colleagues to expand their focus
7. Moderate exercising encourages a healthier lifestyle
8. Most schools meet USDA drinking water mandate; more steps needed to encourage consumption
Post Your Comments:
(Date:9/30/2015)... PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. , Sept. 30, 2015 ... Circuit earlier this month issued another key ruling in ... Commission,s (ITC,s) determination that Korean fingerprint scanner company Suprema ... the Tariff Act of 1930, a trade provision that ... connection with import trade, by infringing two of Crossmatch,s ...
(Date:9/29/2015)... -- News facts: , ... , Minimized design shrinks PC footprint , ... embedded Fujitsu PalmSecure authentication enable enterprises to realize benefits ... that good things come in small packages, with the ... desktop and mobile portfolio. Featuring workplace design that favors ...
(Date:9/28/2015)... 2015 CLEAR, the leading biometric ... traveler service is coming to Austin-Bergstrom International ... a frictionless experience, serious speed and enhanced ... offers our travelers an expedited security screening ... Jim Smith , Executive Director, Austin-Bergstrom International ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/13/2015)... ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... announced that it has received a Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) ... Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS), will fund the development of a technique ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... Oct. 13, 2015  According to Kalorama Information, ... reach $102 billion by the end of 2015. ... health industry, as it is estimated that approximately ... laboratory tests. In addition to diagnosing patients, clinical ... disease progression, monitor drug treatment and conditions, and ...
(Date:10/13/2015)... NC (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2015 , ... ... intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) technologies, announced today that it received de novo clearance ... in the U.S. for the ablation of prostate tissue. Sonablate® is the ...
(Date:10/12/2015)... , Oct. 12, 2015  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ... from an exploratory sub-study of the previously reported romosozumab Phase ... an oral plenary session at the American Society for Bone ... Seattle . 2 --> ... sub-study data showed that, at month 12, the investigational bone-forming ...
Breaking Biology Technology: