Varying Levels of Impulsivity in an ADHD Rodent Model Influences Behavioral Accuracy

March 28, 2021   /  

Name: Sydney Schultz
Major: Neuroscience
Minor: Biology
Advisor: Amy Jo Stavnezer

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neuropsychiatric condition that typically arises in childhood, and is often characterized by varying intensities of traits such as impulsivity, attentiveness, and hyperactivity. While research has been done to examine the combined effects of these traits on a range of behaviors in both human and rodent models of ADHD, little research has been done only on the influence of impulsivity on these behaviors. Additionally, little research has been conducted examining the ways in which spaced training –which is the process of practicing a task for short periods of time each day over a longer span of time –would help to mitigate the effects of impulsive tendencies. The present study examined how the level of impulsivity observed in the SHR rodent model of ADHD would influence behavioral performance in the 5-CSRTT mechanism. Alongside examining the effect of impulsivity, whether or not the rodents were in the spaced training group was also analyzed to determine ifthe type of training received mitigated the influence of impulsive tendencies on the rodents’ behavior. It was found that impulsivity level had a significant effect on the percentage of correct responses obtained in a majority of the training levels, as well as that spaced training actively decreased the levels of impulsivity measured across all training phases. Future research areas could examine the relationship between sex differences and impulsivity, as well as utilizing additional behavioral tasks like the Morris Water Maze to test the potential of impulsive behaviors to carry over into other areas of learning and memory research.

Sydney will be online to field comments on April 16:
10am-noon pm EDT (Asia: late evening; PST 6am-8am, Africa/Europe: late afternoon)