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Past Projects

Ashoka University - Neuroethology lab's legacy work

3. Stress and social choices: The overall goal of this undergraduate-driven set of projects is to look at various forms of physical and social stat ss, of particular interest to Psychology undergraduates, and to explore the ways in which these impact various traits we are interested in zebrafish: learning, social decision making, and foraging behaviour. Here are the specific objectives:

3a. To examine  the effect of the outcome of stressful dominance/submissive dyadic interactions on shoal size and foraging: this set of 3 projects looks at the effect of dominance/submission dynamics in dyadic interactions in zebrafish upon shoaling and another project looks at its effect on foraging. A related project looks at the effect of social defeat upon learning. For now Pranati is coordinating data analysis on these projects.

3b. To test the effect of early life stress on pain tolerance and resilience: Two student projects look into neuroinflammation and the relationship between stress and pain tolerance. The first ASP project by Sushmita Anant implements a chronic unpredictable early life stress protocol to look into the mechanisms behind stress-induced analgesia and resilience in zebrafish larvae, and the other ASP project by Aashka Shah studies the impact of chronic social isolation in zebrafish.

3c. To quantify the ecological dis/advantages and metabolic markers of depressive behaviour: A team of Arpita, Pranaya, Pankhudi and Aryan are looking into the ecological and metabolic markers of depressive and aggressive behaviour, using respirometry and reproductive fitness to also quantify the ecological costs and benefits of different behavioural strategies in zebrafish.

3d. To quantify optimism bias in an animal model and set up an assay for how various psychotropic drugs influence that bias: This is an ASP thesis by Snigdhaa.

4. The Dognition (dog cognition) project which looks at quantitative and numerical cognition in dogs - this will soon be active over the winter and most summers. Ani is the contact person for this.

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