Size Constancy in Goldfish (Carassius Auratus)

Behav Brain Res. 1988 Sep 1;30(1):37-42. doi: 10.1016/0166-4328(88)90006-x.


This study examines whether fish are able to judge the real size of objects taking distance into account, or if size judgements are based purely on the angle objects subtend on the retina. Goldfish were trained to discriminate between 2 targets which differed from one another only in their diameters (5 cm and 10 cm), presented initially equidistantly from the fish. A choice of the correct target was rewarded either by food or by access to other fish. Following successful training, the targets were shifted so that they both subtended the same visual angle. The fish continued to choose the target to which they had been trained, showing that they display size constancy. This ability was present in both monocular and binocular animals.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Conditioning, Operant
  • Discrimination Learning*
  • Distance Perception*
  • Goldfish
  • Size Perception*
  • Vision, Binocular
  • Vision, Monocular