Can goldfish have memories, feel pain, and have personalities? It seems like this might be an easy answer for most goldfish lovers who like to name, feed and give them loving homes.
But specifically concerning pain some scientists say the signs that fish exhibit this is simply a reflex drawn from their Nervous System. These scientists have studied and concluded that pain that can only be felt in organisms with a Neocortex, a six layered type of cortex present only in mammals. So without this cortex fish would not feel pain. Even though the brains of vertebrates all share characteristics and are thought to have evolved from the same structure.
By caring for a goldfish you will see it is almost like they have behavior similar to cats and dogs. Goldfish will get excited when their owners enter the room by sensing their footsteps and visual cues. Some will even hide behind ornaments when confronted with a stranger. Goldfish will even know what time it is to be fed, given that it is at the same time every day. They will also exhibit behavior showing their owner delight or distaste for the food they receive. Some goldfish will eat almost anything and some will only eat certain foods. Goldfish can have unique personalities by showing off doing swimming tricks and chasing each other around the tank. They have shown certain behaviors when ill such as not eating, huddling in a corner, and sometimes cuddle up to each other.
These creatures have an amazing ability to learn and memorize. They can be trained to swim through hoops, go through mazes for food rewards, and are able to navigate quicker around objects that they have sensed before. New studies have shown fish to remember pain such as an electrical shock and to avoid stimuli that will test this threshold. Also memories have been proven to last for up to 3 months in goldfish.
Most importantly goldfish are showing scientists what all us goldfish lovers have known for years, love.