Behavioural responses of zebrafish with sound stimuli in microfluidics

Dineshkumar Loganathan, Shu Heng Wu, Chia Yuan Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Neuronal activities of the human brain responsible for cognitive features have been theorized through several animal models that exhibited various complementary spatial learning modes by generating a flexible repertoire of behavioral strategies. However, for such studies associated with a neurodegenerative disease, which can be further manipulated to provide therapeutic strategies, the animal models employed in their developmental stages have been preferred over the adult ones. This pilot work was incepted to underscore the spatial memory capabilities that strengthened the intricate mechanism of memory acquisition potential in one of the low-order evolutionarily conserved species, such as zebrafish larvae. Initially, a reliable and more easily reproducible microfluidic platform integrating simple and intricate paths was designed to learn and test the spatial information in zebrafish larvae of 4-6 d.p.f. under non-invasive acoustic stimuli. Further, to acquire spatial information as the representation of spatial memory formation in zebrafish larvae, the acoustic startle responses were evaluated by quantifying various dynamic behaviors under distinct operating parameters. After significant conditioning sessions, the spatial memory was tested by employing variable ‘freezing’. By the end of the 30 min-long test session, 6 d.p.f. larvae were found to exhibit the highest value of freezing of approximately 43% and 20% in the short and long paths, respectively. Even though a substantial rate of memory loss was observed, it can be envisaged to serve several behavioral strategies that process the dynamic cognitive memory among distinct spatiotemporal environments. Further, the proposed behavioral paradigm had the advantage of being more adaptable and reliably replicable by other researchers. As a consequence, different hypotheses can be readily tested to generate more reproducible findings towards distinct neurobehavioral characteristics. Therefore, the proposed paradigm for the consolidation of spatial memory based on the non-invasive spatial avoidance strategies could provide an enduring framework of reference for behavioral studies using zebrafish larvae.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-114
Number of pages9
JournalLab on a Chip
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Nov 18

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Bioengineering
  • Biochemistry
  • General Chemistry
  • Biomedical Engineering


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