Department of Psychology
Master of Arts
Research has shown that rearing in abnormal lighting environments affects both visual behavior and retinal physiology in zebrafish larvae. These studies, however, used only darkness and constant white light as the experimental rearing conditions. The purpose of the present study was to assess the effects on the development of zebrafish retinal physiology of rearing larvae in restricted spectral lighting environments. Larvae were reared in one of seven different lighting environments: cyclic white light (the control group), constant blue light, constant green light, constant orange light, cyclic blue light, cyclic green light, and cyclic orange light. Assessment of retinal physiology was done by using the electroretinogram (ERG). The results showed that restricted spectral rearing caused differences in zebrafish retinal physiology. Rearing larvae in any of the constant light conditions caused deficits in sensitivity to ultraviolet and short-wavelength stimuli, but did not cause differences in sensitivity to middle- and long-wavelength stimuli. Rearing larvae in cyclic light also did not cause differences in sensitivity to middle- and long-wavelength stimuli, but did cause extreme deficits in sensitivity to ultraviolet and short-wavelength stimuli in the cyclic green and cyclic orange light rearing conditions. However, the sensitivity of the cyclic blue light rearing group proved to be similar to the control group to stimuli of all wavelengths. It seems that cyclic short wavelength light is necessary for proper retinal development. This study provides further evidence supporting the notion that the zebrafish is a viable model for studying the effects of the lighting environment on visual development.
Dixon, Lee, "Effects of Restricted Spectral Rearing on the Development of Zebrafish Retinal Physiology" (2002). Masters Theses & Specialist Projects. Paper 653.