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ASU Electronic Theses and Dissertations


This collection includes most of the ASU Theses and Dissertations from 2011 to present. ASU Theses and Dissertations are available in downloadable PDF format; however, a small percentage of items are under embargo. Information about the dissertations/theses includes degree information, committee members, an abstract, supporting data or media.

In addition to the electronic theses found in the ASU Digital Repository, ASU Theses and Dissertations can be found in the ASU Library Catalog.

Dissertations and Theses granted by Arizona State University are archived and made available through a joint effort of the ASU Graduate College and the ASU Libraries. For more information or questions about this collection contact or visit the Digital Repository ETD Library Guide or contact the ASU Graduate College at gradformat@asu.edu.


Date Range
2011 2018


Timing performance is sensitive to fluctuations in time and motivation, thus interval timing and motivation are either inseparable or conflated processes. A behavioral systems model (e.g., Timberlake, 2000) of timing performance (Chapter 1) suggests that timing performance in externally-initiated (EI) procedures conflates behavioral modes differentially sensitive to motivation, but that response-initiated (RI) procedures potentially dissociate these behavioral modes. That is, timing performance in RI procedures is expected to not conflate these behavioral modes. According to the discriminative RI hypothesis, as initiating-responses become progressively discriminable from target responses, initiating-responses increasingly dissociate interval timing and motivation. Rats were trained in timing procedures …

Contributors
Daniels, Carter W, Sanabria, Federico, McClure, Samuel M., et al.
Created Date
2018

MicroRNAs are small, non-coding transcripts that post-transcriptionally regulate expression of multiple genes. Recently microRNAs have been linked to the etiology of neuropsychiatric disorders, including drug addiction. Following genome-wide sequence analyses, microRNA-495 (miR-495) was found to target several genes within the Knowledgebase of Addiction-Related Genes (KARG) database and to be highly expressed in the nucleus accumbens (NAc), a pivotal brain region involved in reward and motivation. The central hypothesis of this dissertation is that NAc miR-495 regulates drug abuse-related behavior by targeting several addiction-related genes (ARGs). I tested this hypothesis in two ways: 1) by examining the effects of viral-mediated miR-495 …

Contributors
Bastle, Ryan, Neisewander, Janet, Newbern, Jason, et al.
Created Date
2016

Theories of interval timing have largely focused on accounting for the aggregate properties of behavior engendered by periodic reinforcement, such as sigmoidal psychophysical functions and their scalar property. Many theories of timing also stipulate that timing and motivation are inseparable processes. Such a claim is challenged by fluctuations in and out of states of schedule control, making it unclear whether motivation directly affects states related to timing. The present paper seeks to advance our understanding of timing performance by analyzing and comparing the distribution of latencies and inter-response times (IRTs) of rats in two fixed-interval (FI) schedules of food reinforcement …

Contributors
Daniels, Carter Waymon, Sanabria, Federico, Brewer, Gene, et al.
Created Date
2015

Social influences are important determinants of drug initiation in humans, particularly during adolescence and early adulthood. My dissertation tested three hypotheses: 1) conditioned and unconditioned nicotine and social rewards elicit unique patterns of neural signaling in the corticolimbic neurocircuitry when presented in combination versus individually; 2) play behavior is not necessary for expression of social reward; and 3) social context enhances nicotine self-administration. To test the first hypothesis, Fos protein was measured in response to social and nicotine reward stimuli given alone or in combination and in response to environmental cues associated with the rewards in a conditioned place preference …

Contributors
Peartree, Natalie Ann, Neisewander, Janet L, Conrad, Cheryl D, et al.
Created Date
2015

ADHD is a childhood neurobehavioral disorder characterized by inordinate levels of hyperactivity, inattention and impulsivity. The inability to withhold a reinforced response, or response inhibition capacity (RIC), is one aspect of impulsivity associated with ADHD. The first goal of this dissertation was to evaluate the fixed minimum interval (FMI) schedule as a method for assessing RIC. Chapter 2 showed that latencies were substantially more sensitive than FMI-derived estimates of RIC to the effects of pre-feeding and changes in rate and magnitude of reinforcement. Chapter 3 examined the ability of the FMI to discriminate between spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR), an animal …

Contributors
Watterson, Elizabeth, Sanabria, Federico, Olive, Foster, et al.
Created Date
2015

People commonly make decisions and choices that could be delayed until a later time. This investigation examines two factors that may be especially important in these types of decisions: resource stability and comparison target. I propose that these two factors interact to affect whether individuals tend to adopt a delay strategy or whether they engage in more present-oriented strategy. Specifically, this thesis study tested whether picturing one’s ideal led to the adoption of a delay strategy to a greater extent when resources were stable and to a lesser extent when resources were unstable. Participants read a house-hunting scenario in which …

Contributors
Adelman, Robert Mark, Kwan, Virginia S Y, Kenrick, Douglas T, et al.
Created Date
2015

Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, and early initiation is associated with greater difficulty quitting. Among adolescent smokers, those with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), characterized by difficulties associated with impulsivity, hyperactivity, and inattention, smoke at nearly twice the rate of their peers. Although cigarette smoking is highly addictive, nicotine is a relatively weak primary reinforcer, spurring research on other potential targets that may maintain smoking, including the potential benefits of nicotine on attention, inhibition, and reinforcer efficacy. The present study employs the most prevalent rodent model of ADHD, the spontaneously hypertensive rat (SHR) and …

Contributors
Mazur, Gabriel Joseph, Sanabria, Federico, Killeen, Peter R, et al.
Created Date
2014

Globally, addiction to stimulants such as methamphetamine (METH) remains a significant public health problem. Despite decades of research, no approved anti-relapse medications for METH or any illicit stimulant exist, and current treatment approaches suffer from high relapse rates. Recently, synthetic cathinones have also emerged as popular abused stimulants, leading to numerous incidences of toxicity and death. However, contrary to traditional illicit stimulants, very little is known about their addiction potential. Given the high relapse rates and lack of approved medications for METH addiction, chapters 2 and 3 of this dissertation assessed three different glutamate receptor ligands as potential anti-relapse medications …

Contributors
Watterson, Lucas R., Olive, Michael F, Czyzyk, Traci, et al.
Created Date
2014

Patients with schizophrenia have impaired cognitive flexibility, as evidenced by behaviors of perseveration. Cognitive impairments may be due to dysregulation of glutamate and/or loss of neuronal plasticity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC). The purpose of these studies was to examine the effects of mGluR5 positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) alone and in combination with the NMDAR antagonist MK-801, a pharmacological model of schizophrenia. An operant-based cognitive set-shifting task was utilized to assess cognitive flexibility, in vivo microdialysis procedures to measure extracellular glutamate levels in the mPFC, and diolistic labeling to assess the effects on dendritic spine density and morphology in …

Contributors
LaCrosse, Amber, Olive, Michael, Olive, Michael, et al.
Created Date
2014

The unpleasant bitter taste found in many nutritious vegetables may deter their consumption. While bitterness suppression by prototypical tastants is well-studied in the chemical and pharmacological fields, mechanisms to reduce the bitterness of foods such as vegetables remain to be elucidated. Here tastants representing the taste primaries of salty and sweet were investigated as potential bitterness suppressors of three types of Brassicaceae vegetables. The secondary aim of these studies was to determine whether the bitter masking agents were differentially effective for bitter-sensitive and bitter-insensitive individuals. In all experiments, participants rated vegetables plain and with the addition of tastants. In Experiments …

Contributors
Wilkie, Lynn Melissa, Capaldi Phillips, Elizabeth D, Cohen, Adam, et al.
Created Date
2014

The brain is a fundamental target of the stress response that promotes adaptation and survival but the repeated activation of the stress response has the potential alter cognition, emotion, and motivation, key functions of the limbic system. Three structures of the limbic system in particular, the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), and amygdala, are of special interest due to documented structural changes and their implication in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One of many notable chronic stress-induced changes include dendritic arbor restructuring, which reflect plasticity patterns in parallel with the direction of alterations observed in functional imaging studies in PTSD patients. …

Contributors
Hoffman, Ann, Conrad, Cheryl D, Olive, M. Foster, et al.
Created Date
2013

Each year, millions of aging women will experience menopause, a transition from reproductive capability to reproductive senescence. In women, this transition is characterized by depleted ovarian follicles, declines in levels of sex hormones, and a dysregulation of gonadotrophin feedback loops. Consequently, menopause is accompanied by hot flashes, urogenital atrophy, cognitive decline, and other symptoms that reduce quality of life. To ameliorate these negative consequences, estrogen-containing hormone therapy is prescribed. Findings from clinical and pre-clinical research studies suggest that menopausal hormone therapies can benefit memory and associated neural substrates. However, findings are variable, with some studies reporting null or even detrimental …

Contributors
Engler-Chiurazzi, Elizabeth, Bimonte-Nelson, Heather A, Sanabria, Federico, et al.
Created Date
2013

When a rolling ball exits a spiral tube, it typically maintains its final inertial state and travels along straight line in concordance with Newton's first law of motion. Yet, most people predict that the ball will curve, a "naive physics" misconception called the curvilinear impetus (CI) bias. In the current paper, we explore the ecological hypothesis that the CI bias arises from overgeneralization of correct motion of biological agents. Previous research has established that humans curve when exiting a spiral maze, and college students believe this motion is the same for balls and humans. The current paper consists of two …

Contributors
Dye, Rosaline Alice, Mcbeath, Michael K, Sanabria, Federico, et al.
Created Date
2013

Anxiety sensitivity (AS; the fear of anxiety-related bodily sensations) has been earmarked as a significant risk factor in the development and maintenance of pathological anxiety in adults and children. Given the potential implications of heightened AS, recent research has focused on investigating the etiology and developmental course of elevated AS; however, most of this work has been conducted with adults and is retrospective in nature. Data from college students show that early anxiety-related learning experiences may be a primary source of heightened AS levels, but it remains unclear whether AS in children is linked to their learning experiences (i.e., parental …

Contributors
Holly, Lindsay Elizabeth, Pina, Armando A, Crnic, Keith A, et al.
Created Date
2012

Nicotine is thought to underlie the reinforcing and dependence-producing effects of tobacco-containing products. Nicotine supports self-administration in rodents, although measures of its reinforcing effects are often confounded by procedures that are used to facilitate acquisition, such as food restriction, prior reinforcement training, or response-contingent co-delivery of a naturally reinforcing light. This study examined whether rats acquire nicotine self-administration in the absence of these facilitators. A new mathematical modeling procedure was used to define the criterion for acquisition and to determine dose-dependent differences in rate and asymptote levels of intake. Rats were trained across 20 daily 2-h sessions occurring 6 days/week …

Contributors
Cole, Natalie Ann, Neisewander, Janet L, Sanabria, Federico, et al.
Created Date
2011