Neurophenotyping of adult zebrafish using the light/dark box paradigm

Adam Stewart, Caio Maximino, Thiago Marques De Brito, Anderson Manoel Herculano, Amauri Gouveia, Silvio Morato, Jonathan M. Cachat, Siddharth Gaikwad, Marco F. Elegante, Peter C. Hart, Allan V. Kalueff

Research output: Chapter in Book or Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


The light/dark box test, traditionally used to quantify rodent anxiety-like behavior, has recently been applied to the adult zebrafish (Danio rerio). Utilizing the fish's scototaxis (aversion to bright areas and natural preference for the dark), this paradigm can be used to assess levels of anxiety in adult zebrafish. The light/dark box is a simple and time-efficient one-trial test that does not require pre-training the animals. Importantly, this novelty-based paradigm may also represent a useful tool for studying the pharmacological modulation of zebrafish behavior. Summarizing the experience with this model in several laboratories, here we outline a protocol for the neurophenoptyping of zebrafish anxiety-like behavior using the light/dark paradigm.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationZebrafish Neurobehavioral Protocols
EditorsAllan Kalueff, Jonathan Cachat
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0893-2336
ISSN (Electronic)1940-6045


  • Anxiety
  • Light/Dark box
  • Novelty-based paradigm
  • Scototaxis
  • Zebrafish


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