African Zoology

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The behaviour and brain function of the Cichlid fish Hemihaplochromis philander

A.J. Ribbink


Forebrain extirpations from Hemihaplochromis philander (Pisces: Cichlidae) resulted in a decrease of aggressive (territorial), courtship, and spontaneous behaviour. The stimulus-response latency was found to be increased by the extirpations. Forebrainless males were unable to distinguish between male and female conspecifics on a visual basis. Abnormal responses to certain stimuli occasionally resulted in accidents suggesting a failure of neural feedback mechanisms.

It was suggested that the teleost forebrain houses a primitive limbic system the main functions of which would be general arousal and the selection of appropriate responses to the incoming external and endogenous (motivational) stimuli.

Keywords: Brain Function, Teleost, telencephalon, Cichlid fish behaviour, limbic system, hippocampus

AJOL African Journals Online