Honors Theses and Capstones

Date of Award

Spring 2023

Project Type

Senior Honors Thesis

College or School



College of Life Sciences and Agriculture

Program or Major

Biomedical Science

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

First Advisor

Sergios Charntikov


The main concern of this study is to evaluate the neurobiology of ethanol self-administration and cue-induced reinstatement in rats and its implications for Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) prevention and treatment. The purpose of this study is to use a pre-clinical model of ethanol use to understand the individual effects at the neurobiological level. The study utilized economic demand and negative consequence testing to evaluate the rats' motivation to consume ethanol and their ability to relapse after periods of abstinence. The results showed individual and sex differences in ethanol consumption, with rats who placed a higher value on ethanol being more likely to consume it and relapse. In the future, data will be processed to identify the specific brain regions associated with relapse, which could be targeted with medications to treat AUD. Future research directions include inhibiting specific brain regions in rats with high economic demand and using alcohol long-term drinking rats to better mimic human models.