Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • News & Views
  • Published:

Psychotropic drugs

Magic mushroom and zebrafish: A new recipe?

No, we are not talking about a new dish for dinner, but a study representing an emerging research field. Psilocybin research is gaining momentum, and zebrafish behavioral neuroscience research has been exponentially expanding. At the intersection of these two research fields is a recent paper that utilized high-tech video-tracking to detect behavioral changes induced by this psychoactive drug in larval zebrafish.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: The zebrafish is a translationally relevant model organism for the analysis of psilocybin’s phenotypical effects and the mechanisms underlying these effects.


  1. McIntyre, R. & Gill, H. The unmet needs for major depressive disorder. New Directions in Psychiatry. Springer, Cham. pp. 27-38 (2020)

  2. Fakhoury, M. Mol. Neurobiol. 53, 2778–2786 (2016).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  3. Uher, R. et al. J. Clin. Psychiatry 72, 1478–1484 (2011).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Braun, D. et al. Mol. Psychiatry (2024).

  5. Gerlai, R. Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. 144, 104978 (2023).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  6. Gerlai, R. (ed.) Behavioral and Neural Genetics of Zebrafish, 1st edn, pp 589 (Academic Press, 2020).

  7. Gerlai, R. Trends Neurosci. 25, 506–509 (2002).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Kalueff, A. V., Stewart, A. M. & Gerlai, R. Trends Pharmacol. Sci. 35, 63–75 (2014).

    Article  CAS  PubMed  PubMed Central  Google Scholar 

  9. Syed, O., Tsang, B. & Gerlai, R. Neurosci. Biobeh. Rev. 153, 105381 (2023).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Syed, O. et al. Trends in Pharmacol. Sci. 44, 664–673 (2023)

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Robert Gerlai.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gerlai, R. Magic mushroom and zebrafish: A new recipe?. Lab Anim 53, 91–92 (2024).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing