It’s commonly believed that fishes of various kinds have a short-term memory. We often compare humans who forgets easily with a goldfish’s memory. Though we could not identify the origin of the claim, but we could see that people do know about it through posts in Facebook and Twitter. Though various timeframes for the fish’s memory are given on the timeline, the most popular belief is that fishes have a memory for just 3 seconds. But, is it really?
Many researches have been conducted on goldfish’s memory. From school children to big researches, all have conducted experiments to justify justify a goldfish’s memory.
As per Fact Watch’s investigation, the first experiment by a 15 year old school boy in Adelaide, Australia. The test was conducted very with a few gold fishes in aquarium. Everyday, he would drop a red lego piece in the aquarium and pour food around it. Though, the legos scared the fish initially, it got used to it and would go for the food instead. It became such that, they would understand that food was served whenever a red lego piece was dropped.
The experiment shows that goldfishes not only have a memory of more than 3 seconds but also can retain past events and act accordingly.
Culum Brown, a research fellow at Macquarie University in Australia informed ABC News about another of his research work. In that research he taught fishes how to escape from fishnets. A hole was created in one corner of the net and after five attempts he was able to show the school where gap was. A year later, the same fishnet was used to capture the same school and saw that the fishes remembered where the gap was and escaped.
A third experiment conducted in Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology. A young school of fishes where given training while trapped in an aquarium. In the experiment, before giving food, a distinct sound was made. After the experiment, the fishes were released to open waters.
Five months later, when scientists repeated that same sound near the open water, the young fishes now adults swam near the sound. The scientist then came to the conclusion that this can work in much bigger open waters as well.
From several researches on fishes including goldfish, it is clear that fishes do have a memory of more than 3 seconds. But scientist have yet to find the exact memory every fishes have. The Israeli scientists however believe that they can remember for 5 months. On the other hand, Culum Brown’s fishes were able to remember how to escape the net even after a year.