Sub optimal fish health in aquaculture compromises operational economy and fish welfare. Animals have to balance attention, inhibition of active behavior and cognitive flexibility via internal and external feedback in order to cope with an ever-changing environment. Thus, in order to understand how fish cope with their environment, we need to understand how the mechanisms behind these neurobiological processes work. Understanding how and where in the brain stimuli are processed and how this is translated into behavioral outputs, helps establish routines and strategies that increase the welfare of all individuals within the population.
During the last decades, there has been increased interest in understanding the neurobiology and behavior of teleost models. Unfortunately, there is a tendency that certain species are highlighted in particular specialized fields. Hence, we end up with a situation where the ecological and evolutionary background for behavioral variation is best known in some species, and tools to understand proximate molecular-genetic mechanisms and neurobiological function are best developed in others. Filling this vast knowledge gap is important in order to understand the proximate and ultimate mechanisms within evolutionary biology of neurobiological systems and will require interdisciplinary researchers to come together and exchange ideas. The planned symposium entitled “Brain and behavior in fish: From evolutionary ecology to biomedicine” under the biannual International Congress on the Biology of Fish will strengthen the opportunities to develop the knowledge base related to fish cognition and behavior and generate new cooperation within all these research fields. Funding of this application will increase our reach by being able to invite internationally leading lecturers with cutting-edge expertise in the area and offer some financial support for travel and accommodation.