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Robots Strike Fear in the Hearts of Fish
Date:7/31/2013

simulated attack.

"We hoped to see a correlation between the robotic Indian leaf fish test results and the results of the other anxiety tests, and the data support that," Porfiri explained. "The majority of control group fish avoided the robotic predator, preferred the light compartment and sought shelter quickly after the heron attack. Among ethanol-exposed fish, there were many more who were unaffected by the robotic predator, preferred the dark compartment and were slow to swim to shelter when attacked."

Porfiri and his colleagues believe zebrafish may be a suitable replacement for higher-order animals in tests to evaluate emotional responses. This novel robotic approach would also reduce the number of live test subjects needed for experiments and may inform other areas of inquiry, from collective behavior to animal protection.

This research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the Honors Center of Italian Universities and the Mitsui USA Foundation.

The Polytechnic Institute of New York University (formerly the Brooklyn Polytechnic Institute and the Polytechnic University, now widely known as NYU-Poly) is an affiliated institute of New York University, soon to be its School of Engineering. NYU-Poly, founded in 1854, is the nation's second-oldest private engineering school. It is presently a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a 159-year tradition of invention, innovation and entrepreneurship. It remains on the cutting edge of technology, innovatively extending the benefits of science, engineering, management and liberal studies to critical real-world opportunities and challenges, especially those linked to urban systems, health and wellness, and the global information economy. In addition to its programs on the main campus in New York City at MetroTech Center in downtown Brooklyn, it
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SOURCE Polytechnic Institute of New York University
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