Cognitive tests in zebrafish (Danio rerio): T-and Y-mazes

David S. Galstyan, Tatyana O. Kolesnikova, Yurii M. Kositsyn, Konstantin N. Zabegalov, Mariya A. Gubaidullina, Gleb O. Maslov, Konstantin A. Demin, Allan V. Kalueff*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


T-and Y-shaped mazes are traditionally used to assess spatial learning and memory of zebrafish. In the installation of the T-shaped maze, the fish are taught to swim into the desired sleeve and not swim into the “wrong” one using both posi-tive (for example, food reinforcement) and negative (for example, electric current) stimuli to form more persistent reflexes. The Y-shaped maze is based on the principle of spontaneous choice. Spontaneous choice behavior describes the tendency of animals to change their direction of rotation in a series of successive turns. Each choice statistically depends on the previous one, which indicates its mnestic origin. Unlike other types of memory tasks, testing in the Y-shaped maze does not require prior training or reinforcement (as in the T-shaped maze). Both aquatic mazes are becoming useful tools for assessing zebrafish cognitive phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-168
Number of pages6
JournalReviews on Clinical Pharmacology and Drug Therapy
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • learning
  • maze, memory
  • spontaneous choice
  • zebrafish


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