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The ZebraBox is the first ever automated analysis chamber used for zebrafish monitoring in a non-intrusive manner.

This system provides high throughput behavioral analysis data with controlled experimental conditions. It is widely used in the drug discovery and pharmacology field to identify compounds that significantly alter behavior such as adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine, GABA and other compounds. Since behavioral research with zebra fish is proliferating rapidly the behaviors themselves are still poorly understood, making the results of such studies difficult to interpret without an automated calculation.

Manually scoring locomotion or quantification of locomotor activity levels of embryos, larvae or adult fish would be extremely inaccurate due to human error as well as tremendously time consuming for researchers.

As for humans, environmental factors such as lighting conditions or temperature can greatly influence fish behaviors. Fish would express different behaviors when exposed to external stimuli such as sound, vibration, light or dark phases and temperature variations. It is crucial to be in control of those parameters while experimenting, therefore since the Zebrabox can control these parameters it has been a major part of modern Zebrafish studies.

Zebra fish larval locomotor activity assay of transgenic fish embryos and individual larvae placed in a 96-well plate, monitored in a box and continuously illuminated by infrared lights, illuminated by white lights showed major similarities between fish circadian system and mammalian sleep/wake regulator for example.


  • "Zebrafish Behavioral Profiling Links Drugs to Biological Targets and Rest/Wake Regulation." Harvard University. Jason Rihel, David A. Prober, Anthony Arvanites, Kelvin Lam, Steven Zimmerman, Sumin Jang, Stephen J. Haggarty, David Kokel, Lee L. Rubin, Randall T. Peterson, Alexander F. Schier. Published 15 January 2010, Science 327, 348 (2010) – DOI: 10.1126/science.1183090
  • "Validation of a larval zebrafish locomotor assay for assessing the seizureliability of early-stage development drugs." Matthew J. Winter a,⁎, William S. Redfern b, Amanda J. Hayfield a, Stewart F. Owen a, Jean-Pierre Valentin b, Thomas H. Hutchinson a AstraZeneca Global Safety, Health & Environment, Brixham Environmental Laboratory, Freshwater Quarry, Brixham, Devon TQ5 8BA, UK
  • "Hypocretin/Orexin Overexpression Induces An Insomnia-Like Phenotype in Zebrafish." David A. Prober, Jason Rihel, Anthony A. Onah, Rou-Jia Sung, and Alexander F. Schier, Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Division of Sleep Medicine, Center for Brain Science,Harvard Stem Cell Institute, and Broad Institute, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
  • "A category approach to predicting the developmental (neuro) toxicity of organotin compounds: The value of the zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryotoxicity test (ZET)" – Anna Beker van Woudenberga, , André Wolterbeeka, Lindsey te Brakea, Cor Snelb, Aswin Menkeb, Carina Rubingha, Didima de Groota, Dinant Kroesea
  • "Cognitive Aging in Zebrafish" – Lili Yu1, Valter Tucci, Shuji Kishi, Irina V. Zhdanova – Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America, Department of Cancer Biology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, United States of America
  • "The anti-cancer agent SU4312 unexpectedly protects against MPP+-induced neurotoxicity via selective and direct inhibition of neuronal NOS". Wei Cui, Zaijun Zhang ,Wenming Li, Shengquan Hu, Shinghung Mak, Huan Zhang,Renwen Han, Yifan Han – Article first published online: 20 FEB 2013 -DOI: 10.1111/bph.12004
  • "Validation of the Zebrafish Pentylenetetrazol Seizure Model: Locomotor versus Electrographic Responses to Antiepileptic Drugs". Tatiana Afrikanova equal contributor – Ann-Sophie K. Serruys equal contributor – Olivia E. M. Buenafe, Ralph Clinckers, Ilse Smolders,Peter A. M. de Witte,Alexander D. Crawford, Camila V. Esguerra
  • "Locomotor activity changes on zebrafish larvae with different 2,2′,4,4′-tetrabromodiphenyl ether (PBDE-47) embryonic exposure modes". Jing Zhaoa, Ting Xua,Da-Qiang Yina – Key Laboratory of Yangtze River Water Environment – Ministry of Education, College of Environmental Science and Technology. Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China – School of Resources and Environmental Engineering, Anhui University, Hefei 230601, China
  • "Swimming into prominence: the zebrafish as a valuable tool for studying human myopathies and muscular dystrophies." Elizabeth M. Gibbs, Eric J. Horstick, James J. Dowling. Article first published online: 25 JUL 2013 _ FEBS Journal – DOI: 10.1111/febs.12412