Zebrafish Behavior: Opportunities and Challenges

Annu Rev Neurosci. 2017 Jul 25;40:125-147. doi: 10.1146/annurev-neuro-071714-033857. Epub 2017 Apr 3.


A great challenge in neuroscience is understanding how activity in the brain gives rise to behavior. The zebrafish is an ideal vertebrate model to address this challenge, thanks to the capacity, at the larval stage, for precise behavioral measurements, genetic manipulations, and recording and manipulation of neural activity noninvasively and at single-neuron resolution throughout the whole brain. These techniques are being further developed for application in freely moving animals and juvenile stages to study more complex behaviors including learning, decision making, and social interactions. We review some of the approaches that have been used to study the behavior of zebrafish and point to opportunities and challenges that lie ahead.

Keywords: collective behavior; computational models; decision making; imaging; motor control; tracking; vision.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Behavior, Animal / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Zebrafish