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Stimulating environment is good for fish

A new study, covered by the BBC News and published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, shows that salmon growing in a stimulating environment become smarter.

Olav Moberg conducting the experiment to study how growing environment...
Olav Moberg conducting the experiment to study how growing environment affects cognitive ability in salmon.
Photo:
Anne Gro Vea Salvanes

A new study, "Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish", by Anne Gro Vea Salvanes from EvoFish and her colleagues shows that salmon growing up in a visually enriched environment become smarter than their conspecifics grown under dull, standard rearing conditions lacking visual stimuli. BBC News has made a great summary of the work under the title "Stimulating environment 'boosts brainpower' of fish".

The study is also covered in the Norwegian science website forskning.no.

Full reference:

Salvanes, A. G. V., O. Moberg, L. O. E. Ebbesson, T. O. Nilsen, K. H. Jensen, and V. A. Braithwaite. 2013. Environmental enrichment promotes neural plasticity and cognitive ability in fish. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 280:20131331.  doi:10.1098/rspb.2013.1331.