Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish

Anne Gro Vea Salvanes, Olav Moberg, Lars O.E. Ebbesson, Tom Ole Nilsen, Knut Helge Jensen, Victoria Ann Braithwaite-Read

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

76 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Different kinds of experience during early life can play a significant role in the development of an animal's behavioural phenotype. In natural contexts, this influences behaviours from anti-predator responses to navigation abilities. By contrast, for animals reared in captive environments, the homogeneous nature of their experience tends to reduce behavioural flexibility. Studies with cage-reared rodents indicate that captivity often compromises neural development and neural plasticity. Such neural and behavioural deficits can be problematic if captive-bred animals are being reared with the intention of releasing them as part of a conservation strategy. Over the last decade, there has been growing interest in the use of environmental enrichment to promote behavioural flexibility in animals that are bred for release. Here, we describe the positive effects of environmental enrichment on neural plasticity and cognition in juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Exposing fish to enriched conditions upregulated the forebrain expression of NeuroD1 mRNA and improved learning ability assessed in a spatial task. The addition of enrichment to the captive environment thus promotes neural and behavioural changes that are likely to promote behavioural flexibility and improve post-release survival.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number20131331
Number of pages1
JournalProceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Volume280
Issue number1767
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 22 2013

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environmental enrichment
Neuronal Plasticity
Aptitude
Fish
Salmo salar
Plasticity
plasticity
Fishes
Animals
breeds
animal development
captive animals
neurodevelopment
animal
fish
cognition
animals
cages
rodents
learning

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Environmental Science(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

Cite this

Salvanes, A. G. V., Moberg, O., Ebbesson, L. O. E., Nilsen, T. O., Jensen, K. H., & Braithwaite-Read, V. A. (2013). Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 280(1767), [20131331]. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.1331
Salvanes, Anne Gro Vea ; Moberg, Olav ; Ebbesson, Lars O.E. ; Nilsen, Tom Ole ; Jensen, Knut Helge ; Braithwaite-Read, Victoria Ann. / Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish. In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2013 ; Vol. 280, No. 1767.
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Salvanes, AGV, Moberg, O, Ebbesson, LOE, Nilsen, TO, Jensen, KH & Braithwaite-Read, VA 2013, 'Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish', Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, vol. 280, no. 1767, 20131331. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.1331

Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish. / Salvanes, Anne Gro Vea; Moberg, Olav; Ebbesson, Lars O.E.; Nilsen, Tom Ole; Jensen, Knut Helge; Braithwaite-Read, Victoria Ann.

In: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, Vol. 280, No. 1767, 20131331, 22.09.2013.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Salvanes AGV, Moberg O, Ebbesson LOE, Nilsen TO, Jensen KH, Braithwaite-Read VA. Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. 2013 Sep 22;280(1767). 20131331. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2013.1331