Individual recognition and the ‘face inversion effect’ in medaka fish (Oryzias latipes)

Mu Yun Wang, Hideaki Takeuchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)


Individual recognition (IR) is essential for maintaining various social interactions in a group, and face recognition is one of the most specialised cognitive abilities in IR. We used both a mating preference system and an electric shock conditioning experiment to test IR ability in medaka, and found that signals near the face are important. Medaka required more time to discriminate vertically inverted faces, but not horizontally shifted faces or inverted non-face objects. The ability may be comparable to the classic ‘face inversion effect’ in humans and some other mammals. Extra patterns added to the face also did not influence the IR. These findings suggest the possibility that the process of face recognition may differ from that used for other objects. The complex form of recognition may promote specific processing adaptations, although the mechanisms and neurological bases might differ in mammals and medaka. The ability to recognise other individuals is important for shaping animal societies.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere24728
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul 11


Dive into the research topics of 'Individual recognition and the ‘face inversion effect’ in medaka fish (Oryzias latipes)'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this