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How Smart ARE Fish (series)

It’s hardly surprising that Dr Culum Brown has a passionate interest in how fish learn and interact since even as a child, he had spent more time watching fish than most people would in a lifetime. He spent much of his childhood around fishing villages in South East Asia, had his snorkelling and scuba accreditation at age 16 and studied marine biology at university. Specialising in behavioural ecology, he has been part of university research programs in the UK, NZ, Europe and the US and has recently joined Macquarie University as a Research Fellow in the Department of Biological Sciences. He is one of the editors of the recently published book Fish Cognition and Behavior
In this series, Culum discusses recent research about fish cognition and behaviour that may make you wonder whether many behaviours and abilities that we regard as signs of our human intelligent are really unique to people – and maybe … humans aren’t so special after all.
More about Culum and this series

The scale of fish thinking

The first in Culum Brown's series on cognition and behaviour in fishes. What sorts of behaviours do we as humans regard as indicating 'intelligence'? Culum takes a look at memory, learning and tool making for starters.
Brain lateralisation...so - are there right and left finned fish?

Space craft: exceptional spatial learning abilities in fishes

Spatial learning means getting around in the environment, a key behaviour for all animals. Every animal needs to be able to find its way home, to find food and to avoid predators where possible, all of which involves a huge amount of long-term memory. A/Prof Culum Brown from the School of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University, adds to our knowledge about animal cognition, in this case spatial learning in fish.
What can fish hear and how well?

First Pavlov and his dogs - now Culum's fishes

Pavlov demonstrated classical conditioning to the world with a bell, food and a dog. As time goes by, it is more and more obvious that most animals can learn quite quickly by classical conditioning. Dr Culum Brown from Macquarie University presents some insights about the intelligence of fishes.
What do fishes see and is it in 'colour'?

Dr Culum Brown takes us back to fish school and reveals perceptual skills for many fish that are almost impossible for us to comprehend, such as vision from in the infrared right through to into the ultraviolet. Although often their two visual fields just don't overlap, somehow fish still manage to make sense of the world.
Do fishes have personality?

Complex social behaviours take intelligence

I’ll scratch your back and….. Some complex social interactions commonly encountered in fish communities, even including some unscrupulous, supposedly ‘human’ behaviours termed Machiavellian.
 

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