Cognitive dysfunction is an impairment in one or more of the six cognitive domains (complex attention, executive function, learning and memory, language, perceptual motor and social cognition). The effect of pharmacological interventions can be studied using animal models of cognitive dysfunction, which are typically split into pharmacological, developmental and genetic models. Rodents are the most commonly used animal species for modelling cognitive dysfunction, although multiple models and test locations are often recommended to improve validity. Researchers thus unfortunately need to balance the validity of their experimental designs with financial, logistical and cost constraints. Zebrafish could be the answer to this conundrum as one of their many advantages over rodents is their high breeding rate which makes high-throughput screening more feasible and thus increases cost-effectiveness. The popularity of zebrafish has been increasing in recent times, as measured by the increasing number of zebrafish research publications. It is thus unsurprising that several zebrafish models of cognitive dysfunction have already been developed, together with zebrafish tests designed to measure zebrafish cognitive performance. Future research will undoubtedly lead to the development of new zebrafish models of cognitive dysfunction, as well as validate current ones to pave the way for widespread adoption.
Part of the book: Recent Advances in Zebrafish Researches