‘Anti-social’ attitude in boozy fish may explain alcoholism impact in humans

February 14th, 2011 - 12:51 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Feb 14 (ANI): Even small amounts of alcohol at an early age can have a long-lasting impact on fish and humans alike, according to a new study.

It found that alcohol exposure makes fish anti-social, reports the Discovery News.

Robert Gerlai, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and colleagues examined the neurological effects of alcohol exposure in zebra fish and noticed developmental problems similar to what is seen in humans whose mothers consumed alcohol during pregnancy.

They placed small amounts of alcohol in the water of zebra fish embryo tanks. The amount used was not enough to cause physical deformations.

Instead, researchers saw anti-social behaviours in these zebra fish.

“The more alcohol we give them, the more anti-social they become as adults,” Gerlai told the Toronto Star.

“It changed their social skills, which resemble what you find in mild foetal alcohol syndrome in humans,” he added.

Interestingly, he found that anti-social behaviours increased with the amount of alcohol added to the embryos’ tanks.

Ultimately, the research allows scientists to study alcohol’s impact on development and behaviour in a controlled environment. (ANI)

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