Date Thesis Awarded

5-2018

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)

Department

Neuroscience

Advisor

Joshua Burk

Committee Members

Shantá Hinton

Randolph Coleman

Abstract

Orexins are a class of neuropeptides that are associated with homeostatic functions, such as food intake, sexual behavior, and the sleep/wake cycle. Orexins also play a pivotal role in cognitive processes such as attention and memory. In the present experiment, we employed a visual attention task to assess the effects of intranasal administration of orexin A in rats. This task required the rats to discriminate between trials when a visual light was illuminated from trials when the light was not illuminated. We tested the efficacy of this administration technique to see its viability as a therapeutic in attention disorders. Intranasal orexin A decreased accuracy in the visual sustained attention task, specifically on trials when the light was not illuminated. This task performance decline may be due to the over-activation orexins, which in turn hyper-excites the acetylcholine-releasing neurons, a neurotransmitter system known to be critical for attention.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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