The age old "zinger"
The 3 second goldfish memory myth was made prominent in past few years years when scientists on the "Mythbusters" tv show. The words "memory like a goldfish" has been in history; somewhat of an mockery or "zinger" towards the individual on the receiving end of the comment (because of the historic perception their memory spanned a grand total of three seconds).
The Mythbusters crew started out a trend when they debunked the theory by teaching the goldfish to swim through an underwater maze. Their studies clearly confirmed that goldfish memory is really very longer than three seconds, as the fish were able to lower the time they could finish the maze every consecutive time they went through.
Prior to the misconception was publicly debunked a further test was carried out: Back in 2003 a Plymouth University study was done that confirmed a goldfish was capable to be taught to bump an underwater lever to release food. The goldfish pets started out with a lever placed in their tank at a set time of day, to the point where the goldfish was discovered to anticipate the lever being positioned within the tank. Right after the goldfish memory was conditioned: The lever could be put within the water at any time and the goldfish recognized it as a way to get food.
What does all this signify?
To many individuals it's just a silly, worthless myth. To goldfish owners that believe they have just an additional foolish, soul-less fish in their aquarium it may indicate your goldfish has the capability to be taught a few tricks, or that you have been correct all along regarding your belief that your goldfish can identify you and possibly likes seeing you through the tank.
Debunking the goldfish memory myth likewise prompted studies on other fish, especially in wildlife fisheries. Assuming fish have a recollection and can be trained can indicate less difficult harvesting for testing or food processing.