Spatial learning, memory, and information transfer in guppy, Poecilia reticulata

Anand, Abhishek (2014) Spatial learning, memory, and information transfer in guppy, Poecilia reticulata. Masters thesis, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata.

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Learning and memory play key role in the fitness of an organism, and guppies, Poecilia reticulata are no exception. We tested adult guppies in a novel maze task for learning with colored landmarks and reinforced with a positive food reward over a span of 6 days. We found a significant improvement in latency to reach food over a duration of 6 days. The major decrease in latency was observed over the first three days after which the latency seemed to stagnate. Information transfer is crucial to social learning. We tested naive adult guppies on a simple maze task in presence of a trained demonstrator. But no significant reduction in the latency was observed compared to control, which might have been due to disrupted familiarity in shoaling fishes due to isolation during demonstrator training. We also tested the latency of a single naive individual and of a pair of naive individuals in the same maze and found that the individuals in the pair performed better at finding the food reward. In the paired individual testing we observed a significant high positive correlation in the latency of the individuals performing together, suggesting that the first individual to complete the task assisted (directly or indirectly) the other individual in the task. These results suggest a benefit of schooling in fishes in foraging task. We also find sexual polymorphism in body weight of guppies, with the males having relatively lower body weight and less variance than the females.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information: Supervisor: Dr. Anuradha Bhat
Uncontrolled Keywords: Guppy; Information transfer; Memory; Poecilia reticulata; Spatial Learning,
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Department of Biological Sciences
Depositing User: IISER Kolkata Librarian
Date Deposited: 06 Jan 2015 07:47
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2015 11:14

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