Electronic Theses and Dissertations



Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



Committee Chair

Helen Sable

Committee Member

Nicholas W. Simon

Committee Member

Randy G. Floyd


Evaluating animal models of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is crucial for expanding the breadth of knowledge of the disorder. Spontaneously Hypertensive Rats (SHRs) have been used for several years as an animal model of ADHD, and routinely provide new information about aspects of the disorder that contribute to behavioral and pharmaceutical treatment interventions. Twelve male and 12 female SHRs as well as 12 male and 12 female Wistar-Kyoto rats (i.e., control strain for the SHR) were acquired and tested on a series of operant tests starting postnatal day (PND) 70. These tests consisted of measures of motor and executive function and include Differential Responding of High Rates (DRH) to assess possible deficits in response speed, Differential Responding of Low Rates (DRL) to assess impulsive action, and Delayed Spatial Alternation (DSA) to assess working memory. It was predicted that the SHRs would exhibit both inhibitory control and working memory deficits that would not be explained due to a motor deficit. The results indicated that SHRs had significant deficits in inhibitory control and working memory as indicated by their underperformance on DRL and DSA tasks (respectively) relative to the WKY rats. The results provide evidence supporting the use of the SHR as an animal model of ADHD and suggest their use in future research evaluating the neurobiological mechanisms associated with the neurodevelopmental disorder as well as comparison to other ADHD animal models is warranted.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest


Open Access