• Introduction on CNS of Local Freshwater Fishes

    The central nervous system (CNS), formed by the brain and the spinal cord, is a very important system for an animal. It plays a role in controlling, regulating, and coordinating the other systems in the body through its neural connections.

    A study of the CNS of freshwater fish could contribute a lot of information on neural structures and their specific functions. Different freshwater fishes should have CNS with sub-systems developed at varying degrees. Rivers, swamps, ponds or paddy fields offer varied conditions as habitats of freshwater fishes. A fish species living successfully in a particular habitat should have specific well developed abilities which ensure its survival in that surrounding. The development of such abilities is paralleled to the development of neural structures related to these abilities. Thus, development of a neural structure indirectly reflects the dependency of the fish to a corresponding ability.

    In Malaysia, work & documentation on the diversity of nervous system of fresh water local fishes are still in infancy, e.g. in our laboratory basic work has been done on only 14 species. Availability of systematically organized information would help in enabling Malaysian researchers to efficiently identify & conduct neuroscience related studies on the different local fishes.

    Establishment of a database which can house currently available info & also from ongoing / future studies will be a significant contribution. In addition to documenting part of heritage of the Malaysian biodiversity, such information can also be used to study interelationships of the fishes; neuroanatomical characterization as a factor to be considered in understanding the phylogeny of teleosts.