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Light during embryonic development modulates patterns of lateralization strongly and similarly in both zebrafish and chick

By R.J. Andrew, D. Osorio and S. Budaev


Some aspects of lateralization are widespread. This is clear for the association between left-eye (LE) use and readiness to respond intensely to releasing stimuli presented by others, which has been found in representatives of all major groups of tetrapods and in fishes. In the chick, this behavioural asymmetry is linked developmentally to greater ability to sustain response against distracting stimuli with right-eye (RE) use, in that both reverse with the reversal of the normal RE exposure to light. In the zebrafish, the same two asymmetries (normally) have similar associations with the LE and the RE, and both also reverse together (owing to epithalamic reversal). Here, we show that light exposure early in development is needed in zebrafish to generate both asymmetries. Dark development largely abolishes both the enhanced abilities, confirming their linkage. Resemblance to the chick is increased by the survival in the chick, after dark development, of higher ability to assess familiarity of complex stimuli when using the LE. A somewhat similar ability survives in dark-developed zebrafish. Here, LE use causes lesser reliance on a single recent experience than on longer term past experience in the assessment of novelty. Such resemblances between a fish and a bird suggest that we should look not only for resemblances between different groups of vertebrates in the most common overall pattern of lateralization, but also for possible resemblances in the nature of inter-individual variation and in the way in which it is generated during development

Topics: Research Article
Publisher: The Royal Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central

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