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Coffee time: Low caffeine dose promotes attention and focus in zebrafish

  • Julia Ruiz-Oliveira
  • Priscila Fernandes Silva
  • Ana Carolina LuchiariEmail author
Article

Abstract

In this study we investigated the ability of zebrafish to discriminate visual signs and associate them with a reward in an associative-learning protocol including distractors. Moreover, we studied the effects of caffeine on animal performance in the task. After being trained to associate a specific image pattern with a reward (food) in the presence of other, distractor images, the fish were challenged to locate the exact cue associated with the reward. The distractors were same-colored pattern images similar to the target. Both the target and distractors were continually moved around the tank. Fish were exposed to three caffeine concentrations for 14 days: 0 mg/L (control, n = 12), 10 mg/L (n = 14), and 50 mg/L (n = 14). Zebrafish spent most of the time close to the target (where the reward was offered) under the effects of 0 and 10 mg/L caffeine, and the shortest latency to reach the target was observed for the 10-mg/L caffeine group. Both caffeine treatments (10 and 50 mg/L) increased the average speed and distance traveled when compared to the control group. This study confirms previous results showing that zebrafish demonstrate conditioned learning ability; however, low-dose caffeine exposure seems to favor visual cue discrimination and to increase zebrafish performance in a multicue discrimination task, in which primarily focus and attention are required in order to obtain the reward.

Keywords

Adenosine antagonist Vision Conditioned learning Associative learning 

Notes

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Copyright information

© The Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julia Ruiz-Oliveira
    • 1
  • Priscila Fernandes Silva
    • 2
  • Ana Carolina Luchiari
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physiology and Behavior, Bioscience CenterUniversidade Federal do Rio Grande do NorteNatalBrazil
  2. 2.Department of BiosciencesSwansea UniversitySwanseaUK

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