One-Trial Learning and Biphasic Time Course of Performance in the Goldfish

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Science  28 May 1971:
Vol. 172, Issue 3986, pp. 966-968
DOI: 10.1126/science.172.3986.966


Goldfish (N = 408) spontaneously swam against flowing water into a calm-water well. After a single trial punished by brief electric shock, the fish avoided the well, as indexed by increased latencies of reentry. Avoidance declined during the first minute after shock, then rose to a peak 1 hour later. The biphasic time course is compatible with the two-store theory of memory formation.