Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More
Are You More Forgetful Than A Fish?

Are You More Forgetful Than A Fish?


Whether it’s Pixar’s Dory with
short-term memory loss or the saying “He has the brain of a goldfish” or
constantly told that fish are simple and have poor memories, but are they more
complex than we think? This is the rotating snake illusion.
As you move your eyes the snakes appear to be moving in
circles, but the image is actually stationary. It turns out that fish see this illusion
in the similar way to you and I. Even though fish diverged from land
vertebrates 450 million years ago, both have developed similar vision to
hunt, escape predators, and avoid collisions. Researchers have hypothesized that we
see the same motion illusions as a result of convergent evolution, where
organisms not closely related independently evolved similar traits as
a result of having to adapt to similar environments. Which one of these red
circles is larger? Your eyes are likely telling you the one
on the right, and the fish would think so too. But it turns out that they’re the
same size. In the study on red tail split fins the fish were trained to
discriminate between discs of different sizes and to prefer larger discs and
then when presented with a similar illusion that they chose the deceptively
larger one. What about attention span? One particular
report found that the human attention span is down from 12 seconds in the year
2000 to 8 seconds today. Our use of the internet and devices is theorized to
play a role, but either way goldfish have a nine-second attention
span, trumping that of a human. When it comes to forgetfulness, a study using
African cichlids gave fish food reward in a particular zone of an aquarium for
three days in a row. Then the fish were given a 12-day rest period before being
reintroduced into the aquarium. Using motion tracking software, the cichlids
showed a distinct preference to the area of the aquarium where they had
previously received a reward. Studies have even shown goldfish can
remember things for at least three months, distinguishing between shapes, colors,
sounds, and even navigating mazes. On top of this,
goldfish can recognize their owners. Ultimately, fish have been shown to have
quite good memories. After all, they need to remember prey
types, avoid predators and even avoid our hooks after being caught in the past.
When it comes to pain, we’re actually quite different than fish. When you injure
yourself receptors in your body called
nociceptors send signals to the neocortex where the sensation of pain is
processed. But many fish lack nociceptors and all fish lack a neocortex, so pain
isn’t experienced in the same way. When “Finding Nemo” was first released, hundreds
of fish were flushed to set them free, when in reality these fish often die
from trauma or exposure to fresh water. Additionally, researchers worried that
“Finding Dory”‘s release could increase the decline in ornamental fish
populations, as more people will want the royal blue tang as a pet. So we decided to make a video on eight
other amazing aquatic animals on ASAPThought where we visited an aquarium to
check them out in person. Our lakes and oceans are full of some
wild and beautiful creatures so be sure to check it out with the link below. And
subscribe for more weekly science videos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *