Toxin Model of Autism

Behavior Assays:

Locomotion Activity

A feature of ASD is increased level of activity, or hyperactivity (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Studies in zebrafish models of Autism show differential effects on locomotor activity (Dreosti et al., 2020).


Hyperactivity Level

All zebrafish are placed in the middle of a circular locomotion chamber, shown here. Each zebrafish's movement is then recorded for a period of time. All recordings are then analyzed through a third party analysis tool, BehaviorCloud. Through this tool, total locomotion activity is quantified in terms of distance traveled over a set period of time.


Repetitive or stereotypic behaviors are also found in ASD. While limited, one way to measure repetitive behavior in zebrafish is to count the amount of circling the zebrafish engages in. BehaviorCloud provides traces by which we can manually count the total number of circles that a zebrafish makes during a a set interval of time. The total amount of circles are then compared across groups (toxin exposed zebrafish versus controls).