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The Classic Goldfish Memory Experiment, with a Twist

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The Classic Goldfish Memory Experiment, with a Twist

 

I have a final paper on goldfish memory, but to keep things interesting, I'll be testing not just if the common goldfish has a long term memory, what I'll be testing is...

 

Can Goldfish Remember Sequences?

 

The classic goldfish memory test is basically teaching them to navigate a simple maze, with a colored hole to mark the openings, and food as reward. If their time in navigating improves, it means they do have memory.

 

But, with this twist, I want your opinion on if it'll work or not (I know experiments don't have to go the way you think It'll go all the time, but I'm not wasting several dollars worth of aquarium equipment)

 

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The maze will be an aquarium with 3 dividers, each with a hole in different spots. There will be a colored marker to emphasize the location of the hole and serve as something easier to remember (color). Instead of a single color as most goldfish memory experiments do, since I'll be testing their sequence memory, they'll be of 3 colors, Red, Green, and Blue.

 

They are first taught to navigate the maze in a Red - Green - Blue sequence, with a food reward at the end. Then, the maze is changed to Blue - Red - Green. If their time changes, it means the change of sequence confuses their memory.

 

Alternate: 3-5 common goldfish will be the subjects. They are first taught to navigate the maze in a Red - Green - Blue sequence, with a food reward at the end. Then, they will be taught a Red - Blue - Green sequence with NO food reward. If their completion time changes, it means the change of sequence confuses their memory

 

To eliminate the variable of the hole's position, if the goldfish are not affected by the sequence of color, the sequence of hole position is changed to see if it confuses them more.

 

If they are still unaffected, the conclusion would be, they can't remember sequences.

 

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So, I need a few answers

 

1. Would this work?

2. What would be the expected (most probable) results?

3. Which is better, the first procedure or the alternate?

4. Do you have suggestions for a better experiment that tests the same question? (still using the aquarium maze though)

 

Help please

 

Thanks in advance

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Draw out a few images, and I'll be more able to help you.

In general, however, when carrying out an experiment, you have a research question:

Can Goldfish Remember Sequences?

 

So, bam, you have that down.

 

The next thing you need to do is create your conditions, set your hypothesis, and then run the experiment to see if the hypothesis is confirmed. Do some statistical work to show your data and how it relates to a nullification or support of your hypothesis.

 

To have something work means confirming the hypothesis or nullifying/falsifying a previously conceived hypothesis with the intent of doing so.

In terms of functionalism, you need to operationally define success of memorization yourself.

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**Woops, just realized how terribly outdated this post was... Sorry for bumping it, continue daily life.**

 

1. Would this work?

 

The experiment is feasible… The only problem I can foresee is the actual aquatic environment. A variable that could be affecting the goldfish’s ability to learn would be their actual health; I’m assuming an unhealthy gold fish would have a problem with remembering sequences. You should read up on the NITRATE CYCLE, unless you already have an established tank.

 

In addition, make sure the tank is large enough to contain the amount of fish you want. I’ve been told that for every 1 gallon in the fish tank, there should be one inch of fish, so make sure you have a large enough tank to support the goldfish (Fish excrete ammonia, which is poisonous to them. When lots of fish are added to a small environment the fish will die from the toxins released.)

 

 

2. What would be the expected (most probable) results?

 

I’m not sure what the expected result would be… Maybe read into some literature on the Goldfish memorizing sequences… I’m not sure if there is an expected result statistically. I would assume that eventually the gold fish would get through the maze; which would pose the question: what is considered memorization? If the fish makes it through to get the food in 5 minutes compared to 2 minutes has it still memorized the pattern?

 

 

3. Which is better, the first procedure or the alternate?

 

I think rewarding the fish with food would be the best way. The fish would have an incentive to complete the maze. Why is the alternative method preferable?

 

Cheers! Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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