The scientists first discovered a fish to look at its prey and find out what it thinks about it. Japan’s National Institute of Genetics researcher Koichi Kawakami and his colleagues developed a very sensitive fluorescence probe to detect the neural activity of live fish. Given nerve signals, it will help in understanding how their brain understands the outside world.
The basic design and function of ZebraFish brain are like the human brain. Zebrafish have a transparent head that allows the researchers to see them in their brains. For their study, the research team, using fluorescent markers, monitors neural activity in single-cell resolution in the zebrafish brain.
They developed a genetically engineered protein named GCaMP7a 7 which gives light under a fluorescent microscope when neurons or brain cells burn. The research team had developed transgenic zebrafish which would be able to communicate this protein in a brain area called optic tectum.This is an area in the brain that regulates the movement of the eyes of animals when it seems that something is going on in its environment.
When zebrafish looks for a prey, the signs of the nerve can be seen through the fish’s brain, and also keep an eye on the movement of the prey. In this case, the research team reproduced the activity of the fish’s brain because it was looking at its floating prey.
They were able to correlate brain activity with catching that prey. Although earlier studies had told about the activity of the single-cell brain in zebrafish, it is for the first time that researchers have detected the neuronal activity of a natural swimming fish. Kawakami said that in the future, we will also be able to study animal behavior, their memory, especially on the activities of neurons. The new approach can be used to screen those chemicals which can be used in the brain Affect the neuronal activity.