How do we know goldfish have 6 second memories?

How do you measure a memory of an animal? Especially one so short? What are the clues that give it away? How do we know it’s not just unbelievably low intelligence, and not short term memory at all?

And in fact, is it even true anyway?

It’s really simple – if you tell a goldfish something and then ask it to repeat the information back seven seconds later, the fish will not answer you. :wink:

My goldfish remembers everything I tell him. Once, I told him where I was hiding my car keys, and then one day when I lost them, he told me where they were at. So I doubt that this applies to all goldfish.


hmm…Desmostylus…I have noticed those actions with my cockatiel (sp?)

Does this mean that the remake of “Memento” featuring goldfish isn’t going to happen?

Holy crap, Desmostylus. That article is weird. I now have doubts on whether there’s a single animal in existence who isn’t a complete pansy ass.

They aren’t all complete pansy asses. fauxpas has a parrot thet can live underwater.

Well gee. Many people say one thing, these people say another. Who is right? We may never know…

Okay, I have an old World Book Encyclopaedia, and its entry for “indole butryic acid” (rootex) notes that the substance causes psychotic reactions in guppies.

How do you spot a psychotic guppie? Tinfoil over the aerators?

I’m more inclined to believe people that deal with live fish daily, like the person from the London Aquarium, rather than people that have just heard the “factoid”.

In this case the “five second memory theory” can easily shown to be false by precisely the observations that Lynn Gibbons made.

But she’s still just one person. Though you’re probably right - observing our Office Fish, he seemed pretty depressed and bored in his empty bowl.

He died this morning. I suspect suicide from depression.