Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Joshua Burk

Committee Members

Robert Barnet

Jennifer Bestman


Attention is a multi-faceted construct with numerous and varied definitions. One important aspect of attention is selective attention, which entails preferentially enhancing the processing of relevant information, while inhibiting the processing of irrelevant information. In addition, selective attention often requires sustained attention, which involves maintaining sensitivity to incoming stimuli for a period of time. Recent findings implicated that the prefrontal cortex and thalamus are involved in selective sustained attention. Orexin neurons have widespread projections throughout the brain, including the prefrontal cortex and the paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus. The paraventricular nucleus of the thalamus receives dense innervations from the lateral hypothalamus orexin neurons and projects to the medial prefrontal cortex. The exact role of this LH orexin neurons-PVT-mPFC circuit in attention processing has not been fully addressed. This study aims to develop a new behavioral task that measures both selective and sustained attention, then utilize such a task to investigate the potential effects of circuit disruption on attentional processing.

Available for download on Friday, May 12, 2023

On-Campus Access Only