Developing anti-predator stimuli in Zebrafish

Hello Readers,

My name is John Stella and I am a rising sophomore at the College of William and Mary. This summer I am doing research with Professor Hunt, in the Psychology department, on fear conditioning in Zebrafish. Fear conditioning involves determining whether the zebrafish can learn cues that signal an oncoming fear stimulus and whether it will cause them to react with fear before the actual fear inducing stimulus or in its absence. However, first I need to create appropriate stimuli to provoke fear(adaptive anti-predator) behaviors. To do this I will try to get a video clip of a predator fish striking at the camera that can be screened on the side of a tank during fear training. The video clip will eliminate the inconsistency of using live predators during testing and will hopefully produce more pronounced fear responses than alternative and less lifelike stimuli.
If the video clip is obtained I can then use it to test the level of response from zebrafish to the striking image of a predator. If anti-predator responses are present, I will then test two groups of fish to see if the cue that signals an oncoming fear producing stimuli can be learned by one of the groups and will result in their showing anti-predator responses before the actual fear producing stimuli is shown. In the future the fear provoking stimuli I hope to develop can be used in other fear conditioning research, for example in studying the affect of fetal alcohol syndrome on learning and memory in zebrafish, which Professor Hunt has studied for 25 years in rats.