SCS Groups and Projects
Aqua Laboratory
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The initial focus of the SCS aquatic project is the zebra fish. There are multiple advantages of using this species in neuroscience research including:

Well-studied physiology and some key homologies to mammals

Ease of genetic manipulation and the availability of a wide range of genetic tools for the zebrafish

A rich repertoire of behaviors e.g., food searching behavjor, shoaling behavior, aggressive and submissive behavior which qualifies them as suitable model for behavioral and developmental disorders like autism.

For vision research, zebrafish as diurnal animals are especially valuable because of their rapidly developing, cone-dominated retina, optokinetic optomotor and visual motor response.


The main goal of this project is to understand the zebra fish capabilities in cognitive tasks :

Using a Y-maze and an automated behavioral tracking software, animal behavior will be monitored and analyzed during task leaming and memory in real time

After establishing solid behavioral paradigms, neural signals will be recorded from live behaving adult fish in the task.

A platform for real-time data analysis and feedback to the fish will be established. Effects of localized lesions or stimulations on behavior will be studied.

The resulting experimental data will be made available to the neuroscience community for further analysis in collaboration with SCS cognitive cluster.



Cognitive paradigms addressing learning, memory, attention and decision making will be designed to understand and model fish behavior and for comparative models of mental disorders in higher species including humans.


Neural recording from various brain areas will be conducted in the behaving fish to establish neural correlates of observed behaviors and for comparative and evolutionary neuroscience research.

Computational Modeling

Neuronal data collected, from electrophysiology and behavioral data are combined to generate mathematical models for deep understanding of and predicting animal behavior.



Current Experiments
Real Time Tracking
Future works


Marine biology has played an influential contribution from early on in the history of neuroscience culminating in the Hodgkin and Huxley 1963 Nobel prize for elucidating the mechanism of action potential generation in squid giant axon. Aquatic animals have complex nervous systems and show intelligent behaviors providing valuable opportunities for neuroscience research. SCS aquatic project aims to conduct research on aquatic vertebrates and invertebrates with share its data in a platform open for researchers around the world. Current focus is on small fish including zebrafish. Future phases may include larger life forms including octopuses and mammals.

Our Amazing Team


Ali Ghazizadeh, PhD

Principal Investigator


Mohammad Heidarl-Borna