Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How To Grow A Bigger Brain

Date:
March 8, 2006
Source:
University of California - Davis
Summary:
Hatchery-reared steelhead trout show increased growth of some parts of the brain when small stones are scattered on the bottom of their tank, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis.

A newly hatched trout.
Credit: Photo Rebecca Kihslinger/UC Davis

Hatchery-reared steelhead trout show increased growth of some parts of the brain when small stones are scattered on the bottom of their tank, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis. The brains of those young fish were closer to those of salmon reared in the wild, and the fish also showed behavior closer to wild than to hatchery-reared fish.

Related Articles


"There's an obvious difference between the hatchery and the wild fish," said graduate student Rebecca Kihslinger, who carried out the study with Gabrielle Nevitt, professor of neurobiology, physiology and behavior at UC Davis. "A simple change affected brain growth in a large-scale way."

The results could affect the design of hatcheries for breeding fish to restock wild populations, Kihslinger said. The study is published in the February 2006 issue of the Journal of Experimental Biology.

Wild steelhead lay their eggs in gravel nests on the riverbed. After hatching, the fry, called alevins, stay among the gravel and live off their yolk sac until they emerge as free-swimming fry. In hatcheries, the fish are reared in tanks of clean, well-aerated water, but without environmental features or enrichment.

Earlier work by Nevitt's lab at UC Davis and other labs has shown differences between hatchery-reared and wild fish, Kihslinger said. But most studies have looked at older fish, and have not distinguished between the effects of selective breeding for "domesticated" fish and of the environment in which the fish live.

Kihslinger reared steelhead in regular tanks and in tanks scattered with small stones. She videotaped the fish, and measured the size of their brains after 10 to 12 days, when the fish were emerging as free-swimming fry. She also studied fish reared in natural conditions in rivers.

Fish reared in both sets of tanks had brains of similar size, but the cerebellum, a part of the brain that controls movement and body position, was significantly larger in fish reared with stones. Those fish also moved around less, perhaps using their yolk reserves more efficiently.

Fish reared in the river had larger brains than either group of fish reared in tanks, but the relative size of the cerebellum compared to the rest of the brain was about the same as in fish reared in tanks with stones.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Davis. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Davis. "How To Grow A Bigger Brain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 March 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060306214151.htm>.
University of California - Davis. (2006, March 8). How To Grow A Bigger Brain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060306214151.htm
University of California - Davis. "How To Grow A Bigger Brain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/03/060306214151.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins