Measurement of Color Preference in Goldfish Using a Negative Reinforcement Y-Maze Avoidance Procedure

Dominic Zerbolio, University of Missouri-St. Louis


Using a Y-maze procedure involving shock reinforcement, goldfish were forced to choose between a red or a green cued arm of the maze. Although the 18 animals tested showed, as a group, an average green preference, equal numbers of animals showed individual green (6), red (6), and no-color (6) preferences. Differences between conclusions based on group means against individual performances are noted. In goldfish, at least, the shock-reinforced Y-maze procedure may represent a very useful technique for further color preference assessment.


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