With communication in many fishes based mainly on visual cues and motion, they provide an excellent study system to test simulations of decision making of mobile animal groups as movement can be tracked in detail. We can train fish in the lab to vary their tendencies to particular targets, we can control and manipulate group composition, and we can track individual fish to dissect how the outcomes of the decision (a functional perspective) are linked to the underlying mechanism.


Dr. Sean Rands, University of Bristol


Here’s our postdoc Dr. Hannah Macgregor explain our 2020 Nature Communications paper:


Here’s an example of the other kind of experiment we do with decision making in fish shoals. In the experiment, golden shiners were trained to different targets, and tested with or without untrained individuals: