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Call for papers - Zebrafish cognition

Guest Editors:
Kyriacos Kareklas: Gulbenkian Science Institute, Portugal
Justin W. Kenney: Wayne State University, United States

Submission Status: Open   |   Submission Deadline: 3 September 2024

BMC Neuroscience is now welcoming submissions to our Collection on zebrafish cognition. This Collection aims to showcase the most innovative new research on the neural networks shaping zebrafish cognition, as well as the impact of genetics, environment, and hormones on their cognitive skills, and insights gleaned from zebrafish models into the mechanisms of neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative conditions.

Meet the Guest Editors

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Kyriacos Kareklas: Gulbenkian Science Institute, Portugal

Dr Kareklas is a neuroethologist and research fellow with the Portuguese National Science and Technology Foundation. His interest are cognitive processing and informed response at the individual level and their effect on social dynamics. Working mostly with fish models, he has explored sensory-modality use, individual assessment strategies and motivation during aggressive and affiliative interactions, and composite phenotypes, such as social contagion. Dr Kareklas is currently working with Prof Rui Oliveira at the Gulbenkian Science Institute, Portugal, using genetic zebrafish models to study neuromodulatory and neurodevelopmental mechanisms of sociality. He received his PhD in Biological Sciences from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Justin W. Kenney: Department of Biological Sciences, Wayne State University, United States

Justin Kenney, PhD is an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at Wayne State University. His lab is interested in uncovering the neural and molecular basis for individual differences in behaviour using adult zebrafish as a model system. He also works to develop tools to enhance zebrafish behavioural neurobiology, such as a digital adult zebrafish brain atlas (, tracking fish in 3D, and precision approaches for drug delivery. Justin began his career studying physics and philosophy at Case Western Reserve University after which he earned his PhD in psychology/neuroscience at Temple University working with Dr Thomas Gould. This was followed by post-doctoral fellowships at the University of Southampton with Dr Christopher Proud and the Hospital for Sick Children with Dr Paul Frankland. 

About the Collection

The study of zebrafish (Danio rerio) cognition is being increasingly recognized for its complexity and the translational insights it offers into neurodevelopmental, neurodegenerative, and behavioral conditions. The transparent nature of zebrafish larvae, combined with their genetic tractability, presents a unique avenue to unravel the complexities of cognition at the neural circuitry level. Understanding how zebrafish process their environment, make decisions, and engage in social behaviors allows us to shed light on the processes of neurogenesis that give rise to advanced thought.

Delineating zebrafish cognition offers more than just an understanding of the fish itself; it provides a platform for comparative neuroethology, allowing researchers to identify evolutionary trends in vertebrate cognition, and potentially opening avenues for research in human cognitive disorders.

To further our comprehension of the cognitive landscape of zebrafish, BMC Neuroscience aims to collate cutting-edge research on the following topics: 

  • Neural circuits and network dynamics underlying zebrafish cognition 
  • Influence of genetics, environmental factors, and hormonal shifts on zebrafish cognitive abilities 
  • Progress in our understanding of zebrafish cognitive models in relation to neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders
  • Cognitive behaviors of zebrafish: from learning paradigms to social interactions 
  • Neurogenetics of cognition: understanding gene expression and its influence on neural plasticity in zebrafish 
  • Unique cellular specializations in the zebrafish brain that facilitate cognitive processes 
  • Influence of various neurotransmitters on zebrafish cognition and behavior 
  • Evolutionary perspectives on zebrafish cognition: drawing parallels with other vertebrate species 

Image credit: Peter-verreussel / Getty Images / iStock

There are currently no articles in this collection.

Submission Guidelines

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This Collection welcomes submission of original Research Articles. Should you wish to submit a different article type, please read our submission guidelines to confirm that type is accepted by the journal. Articles for this Collection should be submitted via our submission system, Snapp. During the submission process you will be asked whether you are submitting to a Collection, please select "Zebrafish cognition" from the dropdown menu.

Articles will undergo the journal’s standard peer-review process and are subject to all of the journal’s standard policies. Articles will be added to the Collection as they are published.

The Editors have no competing interests with the submissions which they handle through the peer review process. The peer review of any submissions for which the Editors have competing interests is handled by another Editorial Board Member who has no competing interests.