The Memory of a Goldfish. The Memory of a Goldfish. The Memory of a Goldfish.

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Ok, so as cheesy and random as that is, every time I think of long term and short term memory loss, I just can't help but think of "Amnesia" by Chumbawumba. This song is sure to bring back memories from my childhood.

I'm sure the majority of us have seen the movie "Finding Nemo". Do you recall Dory having short term memory loss? This was a reoccurring plot during the movie, that made the journey to find Nemo, even more difficult. Here is a clip of Dory's memory loss.

I can recall hearing the urban legend that goldfish have a memory span of 3 seconds. Is this really a fact? Do they not have short term memory, but long term, or vice versa?


Scientists at Plymouth University have successfully trained the fish to collect food at particular times of day, showing the popular notion of the three-second memory to be very fishy indeed. The findings of this study is just adding to the growing evidence that gold fish are more intelligent than have been assumed.

The research, led by Phil Gee of Plymouth University, had goldfish placed in a bowl. They were only fed if they pressed a level. The fish learned quickly that pressing the level would give them a food reward.

Once they had been trained in this way, the researchers set up the lever to work for just one hour a day. The fish soon became wise to this, and learnt to press the lever at the same time every day to feed. "The fish worked out that if they hit the lever around that time, they would get some food," Dr Gee said. "Their activity around the lever increased enormously just before the set hour when their food was dispensed.

"But then if no food came out, they stopped pressing the lever when the hour was up. It shows that they are probably able to adapt to changes in their circumstances, like any other small animals and birds."

Another study was put on by Mythbusters to test if goldfish were able to do a maze.

So this being said, when people compare someone's memory to a goldfish, you can say thank you and proceed on, because you know, that the goldfish myth is just an urban legend.


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This page contains a single entry by pitz0041 published on October 23, 2011 10:53 PM.

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