Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Experimental Psychology

Committee Chair

Helen J. K. Sable

Committee Member

Frank Andrasik

Committee Member

Jeffrey J. Sable


The utility of genetics for predicting alcoholism and alcohol-related disorders islimited given environmental variance and a finite understanding of all geneticcontributors. This has led to interest in phenotypic markers that can be used forclassifying individuals at heightened risk for developing alcoholism and alcohol-relateddisorders. One such marker is the P300, an event-related potential (ERP) observed tohave an attenuated amplitude and increased latency in both humans and animals whohave a genetic predisposition to alcohol use. To study the utility of the P300 as abiomarker for alcohol use disorders (AUDs), we examined its characteristic in alcoholpreferring (P) and non-preferring (NP) rats naïve to alcohol using an auditory oddballtask. Electroencephalography (EEG) was measured using a novel, noninvasive methodafter rats were trained to press a lever for food in response to the rare “target” tone, butnot after the more frequent “standard” tone. The amplitude of the N2-P3 complexrevealed a significant line x tone interaction (F(1,37)=4.365, p=.044, η2p=.106). Post-hoc analysis revealed an approaching significant attenuation in the N2-P3 amplitude for the P(versus NP) rats only for the target tone (p=.077, η2p= .078). These results support theprevious findings reporting a decrease in P300 amplitude in those with a geneticpredisposition to alcohol and adds support to the utility of the P300 as a endophenotypicmarker of alcoholism.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.