Miaja Lemieux

 Deprivation-Induced Hyperactivity: Understanding a Common Symptom of Anorexia Nervosa

Faculty Mentor: Nancy Dess, Psychology Department

Major: Psychology

Funding: Ford Research Mentor's Endowment


Anorexia nervosa has an array of complex symptoms that vary among patients. A common feature of anorexia is excessive exercise. Popular explanations of it focus on the reward/addiction system and the goal of losing weight. Deprivation-induced hyperactivity (DIH for short) is not a universal symptom of anorexia. This is why selectively bred rats play a significant part in understanding DIH. Rats are a good candidate for researching humans due to many similarities in their behaviors. The present study examined DIH in the 1st Generation of replicate Low-Saccharin-consuming (LoS-R) and High-Saccharin-consuming (HiS-R) lines. The current study had 24 adult female rats housed singly with access to a running wheel. The timeline of the study consisted of 4 baseline days, 2 days of deprivation with 1 hour of feeding time, and a recovery day. Consistent with the fleeing-famine hypothesis, deprivation-induced hyperactivity was observed in this study. Both lines similarly increased their wheel revolutions when food was restricted. However, the absence of a significant difference between lines does not disprove past evidence of a line difference in DIH. Whether differences will emerge with continued selection remains to be determined. The wheel revolutions for both lines returned to baseline once full access was given after the deprivation days. This supported good baseline recovery.


Watch my research presentation below.

Questions or comments? Contact me at: mlemieux@oxy.edu


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