Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Do fish feel pain? Norwegian research suggests they can

Date:
January 15, 2010
Source:
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science
Summary:
A Norwegian researcher studying nociception and pain in teleost fish concludes that is that it is very likely the fish can indeed feel pain.

Goldfish.
Credit: iStockphoto/Parpalea Catalin

Norwegian School of Veterinary Science doctoral student Janicke Nordgreen has studied nociception and pain in teleost fish. Her conclusion is that it is very likely the fish can feel pain.

Related Articles


In her dissertation, Nordgreen studied the response to potentially painful stimuli in groups of cells and at the individual. As consciousness is essential to feel pain, Nordgreen tested as well whether fish can be taught to solve a task as in humans requires conscious attention.

The research on pain and nociception (physiological detection of stimuli that can cause tissue damage) in fish is important primarily because pain is a serious threat to animal welfare. In addition, the research may increase our understanding of the evolution of consciousness and the nociceptive system.

In her project, Nordgreen used Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), goldfish (Carassius auratus) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Her research showed that noxious galvanic stimulation elicited activity in the Atlantic salmon telecephalon, and that the response was graded with stimulus intensity. In another experiment, the goldfish showed escape responses when the temperature exceeded 38 degrees C, which is within the temperature range that is deadly to goldfish. This suggests that the ability to respond to harmful point heat is a conserved feature among vertebrates.

The third experiment mapped the metabolism of morphine in Atlantic salmon and goldfish. It was found that they metabolize and secrete morphine more slowly than humans, and that the morphine in small extent reaches the brain of the fish. It was shown that the elimination half life of morphine was approximately one order of magnitude higher than in humans for both species.

The last experiment showed that rainbow trout could learn by trace classical condition. By using reinforcer devaluation, it was also found that the underlying association was most likely of a stimulus-stimulus nature.

No single experiment can unequivocally answer the question of whether fish can feel pain, but the current findings, seen in the context of existing literature strongly indicates that fish are not only capable of nociception but also of conscious perception of pain.

Janicke Nordgreen defended her PhD-thesis, entitled "Nociception and pain in teleost fish," at the Norwegian School of Veterinary Science on October 28, 2009.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. "Do fish feel pain? Norwegian research suggests they can." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112090126.htm>.
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. (2010, January 15). Do fish feel pain? Norwegian research suggests they can. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112090126.htm
Norwegian School of Veterinary Science. "Do fish feel pain? Norwegian research suggests they can." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100112090126.htm (accessed December 21, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Earthworms Provide Cancer-Fighting Bacteria

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) Polish scientists isolate bacteria from earthworm intestines which they say may be used in antibiotics and cancer treatments. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Existing Chemical Compounds Could Revive Failing Antibiotics, Says Danish Scientist

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Dec. 21, 2014) A team of scientists led by Danish chemist Jorn Christensen says they have isolated two chemical compounds within an existing antipsychotic medication that could be used to help a range of failing antibiotics work against killer bacterial infections, such as Tuberculosis. Jim Drury went to meet him. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
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