Month/Year of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.)



First Advisor

Ryan Wong


Learning is a survival skill because it allows organisms to recall vital details about their habitats. Associative learning is another of those skills, the ability to pair two different stimuli in memory and associate them together upon recall. It has been studied in zebrafish with Pavlovian fear learning used as a methodology. Previous studies have utilized Check/Solid patterning, however, there are no published studies exploring alternative stimuli that could be effective in aversive learning. This study sought to determine if Check/Solid was the most effective at inducing aversive learning or if Light/Dark would be more efficient, due to zebrafish’s natural preference to dark. This study utilized two pairs of visual stimuli (Check/Solid or Light/Dark) where the shock group received shock and the control did not. Time spent was the most reliable measure of learning, as anxiety behaviors lead to differences in distance traveled. After conditioning, the Check/Solid shock group decreased time spent in the conditioned stimulus (CS+) zone. The Light/Dark shock group behaved against prediction by increasing time spent in the CS+. This indicated that Check/Solid was more effective and showed how choice of conditioning stimuli should be considered carefully and verified prior to use.

Available for download on Friday, May 15, 2026