Journal of comparative physiology

, Volume 135, Issue 4, pp 327–332 | Cite as

Effects of temperature and n-butanol (a model anaesthetic) on a behavioural function of goldfish

  • M. W. Hill
  • J. Hoyland
  • A. D. Bangham


Hydrostatic pressure has been shown to reverse the effects of anaesthetics in intact animals. To account for this, a range of thermodynamic hypotheses and models based on the physicochemical properties of various hydrophobic systems have been put forward. All these hypotheses and models predict that temperature should have some simple effect equivalent to that of pressure. The present work was undertaken to study the relationship between n-butanol concentration, temperature and the performance of a conditioned response in the goldfish, to see if it fitted any of the theories.

It was found that the concentration of n-butanol required to just block the conditioned response in the goldfish was maximal (18mM) at about 18 °C and that both raising the temperature and lowering it reduced the required concentration. The sharp reduction in successful behaviour at the normal thermal limits were little changed by the presence of the alcohol.

The absence of a simple relationship between temperature and concentration indicates the necessity of proposing a more complex model than the simple hydrophobic site, and a cellular mechanism is put forward linking both membrane and metabolic events.


Physicochemical Property Hydrostatic Pressure Complex Model Metabolic Event Cellular Mechanism 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. W. Hill
    • 1
  • J. Hoyland
    • 1
  • A. D. Bangham
    • 1
  1. 1.Biophysics Unit, A. R. C.Institute of Animal PhysiologyBabrahamGreat Britain

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