Stephanie Fong


Visa sidan på svenska
Works at Department of Zoology
Visiting address Svante Arrheniusväg 18 B
Room D5
Postal address Zoologiska institutionen: Etologi 106 91 Stockholm

About me

One of my current project focuses on the relationship between cognitive ability and brain anatomy in guppies, Poecilia reticulata. I am highly interested in examining for correlations between performance in a battery of cognitive tests, and to subsequently analyse for any links between cognitive performance and brain anatomy. Brain plasticity also forms a core part of my research, whereby I aim to study the potential changes in brain structures/volumes brought about by a range of behavioural tests. This study accompanies my ongoing artificial selection experiment on telencephalon size. The objective being to establish selection lines with distinct differences in size of telencephalon, thereafter subjecting these lines to diverse cognitive experiments. 


A selection from Stockholm University publication database
  • 2019. Stephanie Fong (et al.). Journal of Experimental Biology 222 (10)

    Despite the common assumption that the brain is malleable to surrounding conditions mainly during ontogeny, plastic neural changes can occur also in adulthood. One of the driving forces responsible for alterations in brain morphology is increasing environmental complexity that may demand enhanced cognitive abilities (e.g. attention, memory and learning). However, studies looking at the relationship between brain morphology and learning are scarce. Here, we tested the effects of both learning and environmental enrichment on neural plasticity in guppies (Poecilia reticulata), by means of either a reversal-learning test or a spatial-learning test. Given considerable evidence supporting environmentally induced plastic alterations, two separate control groups that were not subjected to any cognitive test were included to account for potential changes induced by the experimental setup alone. We did not find any effect of learning on any of our brain measurements. However, we found strong evidence for an environmental effect, where fish given access to the spatial-learning environment had larger relative brain size and optic tectum size in relation to those exposed to the reversal-learning environment. Our results demonstrate the plasticity of the adult brain to respond adaptively mainly to environmental conditions, providing support for the environmental enhancement theory.

Show all publications by Stephanie Fong at Stockholm University

Last updated: March 1, 2021

Bookmark and share Tell a friend