Shoaling Behavior in Zebrafish
Zebrafish are a social species that exhibit a preference for conspecifics and start shoaling early on in development. They prefer to spend most of their time with conspecifics, and this behavioral feature can be exploited in various fields of behavioral study.
Behavioral outputs in zebrafish are becoming increasingly better characterized, and include besides shoaling : aggression, fear, alarm reaction, sleep, and reward. Many of these behaviors can also be displayed in a group context, but quantifying shoaling or studying group behavior was notoriously difficult until recently. Previous generations of video tracking software were not able to track multiple fish at once, but with the development of ZebraLab this is now possible.
ZebraLab brings high throughput analysis options to shoaling paradigms and other social interaction paradigms. By automating data procurement and processing, these protocols are now more scalable.
ZebraLab allows you to record and analyze the path of each fish in your shoaling or social paradigm. Data includes distance traveled, speed, turn angle, and can be analyzed for many other measures. Shoaling and social behavior in general, can be disrupted by a plethora of environmental, developmental, genetic, and chemical factors. It offers many possibilities for characterization of aberrant behavior, and for the screening of drug targets to rescue an aberrant phenotype. It is often used to model brain disorders or locomotor deficits, including schizophrenia, autism, depression, and anxiety.