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Press Release 10-205

The Zebrafish's Neural Circuit Prevents It From Biting Off More Than It Can Chew

Inhibiting certain brain cells sharpens animal's response to small and quick visual stimuli

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Illustration of neural circuit activated by small quick cue versus large one in zebrafish larvae.

Small prey-like items elicit a quick response from zebrafish larvae, as excitatory brain cells fire. However, large visual stimulus covering the zebrafish's field of vision fires off inhibitory cells, and the zebrafish responds less to it. This mechanism allows the zebrafish to have a good hunting response to the appropriate visual cues, and not bite off more than it can chew.

Credit: Credit: Zina Deretsky, National Science Foundation


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Cover of the October 29, 2010 issue of the journal Science.

The researchers' findings are described in the Oct. 29 issue of the journal Science.

Credit: Copyright AAAS 2010


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