Lynne U. Sneddon, Javier Lopez-Luna, David C.C. Wolfenden, Matthew C. Leach, Ana M. Valentim, Peter J. Steenbergen, Nabila Bardine, Amanda D. Currie, Donald M. Broom, and Culum Brown, Fish sentience denial: Muddying the waters


Fish nocifensive behavior can be studied and understood similarly to the way pain is studied and understood in more advanced vertebrates. Nocifensive behavior is a behavioral and physiological response to a noxious stimulus that leads to the fish avoiding it in the future. This behavioral flexibility is an important criterion for inferring pain sentience in fish. Modulation of the nocifensive behavior by anxiety, fear, or stress has already been demonstrated in zebrafish. The affective experiences of fish will not be identical to those of human beings, clearly. Empirical research will need to ascertain how similar they are.

Author Biography

Marissol Leite da Silva, undergraduate in Biology at Universidade Federal do Sul e Sudeste do Para, assesses anesthesia in fish using alternative extracts of native plants.


Caio Maximino develops behavioral models for neuroscience studies in zebrafish, with a special interest in fear, anxiety, stress, and pain. He is an Associate Professor of anatomophysiology at Universidade Federal do Sul e Sudeste do Pará.


Diógenes Henrique de Siqueira-Silva, PhD in Animal Biology, Professor in Universidade Federal do Sul e Sudeste do Para, works on biotechnology applied to fish reproduction.