Three-dimensional neurophenotyping of adult zebrafish behavior

Jonathan Cachat, Adam Stewart, Eli Utterback, Peter Hart, Siddharth Gaikwad, Keith Wong, Evan Kyzar, Nadine Wu, Allan V. Kalueff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Citations (Scopus)


The use of adult zebrafish (Danio rerio) in neurobehavioral research is rapidly expanding. The present large-scale study applied the newest video-tracking and data-mining technologies to further examine zebrafish anxiety-like phenotypes. Here, we generated temporal and spatial three-dimensional (3D) reconstructions of zebrafish locomotion, globally assessed behavioral profiles evoked by several anxiogenic and anxiolytic manipulations, mapped individual endpoints to 3D reconstructions, and performed cluster analysis to reconfirm behavioral correlates of high- and low-anxiety states. The application of 3D swim path reconstructions consolidates behavioral data (while increasing data density) and provides a novel way to examine and represent zebrafish behavior. It also enables rapid optimization of video tracking settings to improve quantification of automated parameters, and suggests that spatiotemporal organization of zebrafish swimming activity can be affected by various experimental manipulations in a manner predicted by their anxiolytic or anxiogenic nature. Our approach markedly enhances the power of zebrafish behavioral analyses, providing innovative framework for high-throughput 3D phenotyping of adult zebrafish behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere17597
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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