Bikat Tilahun, Ph.D.
Education: Bachelor of Science in psychology (May 2005)
Doctor of Philosophy in clinical psychology from Fuller Theological Seminary
McNair Project: The Alcohol Deprivation Effect in Alcohol Preferring (P) and Long-Evans Rats (2004)
Mentor: Stephen Kiefer, Ph.D.
Several laboratory studies have shown that after a period of familiarization to ethanol, followed by a period of deprivation, rats show a transient increase in the voluntary intake of ethanol above baseline drinking. This increase has been named Alcohol Deprivation Effect (ADE). In the present study, a three-phase experiment was conducted to produce the ADE in alcohol preferring (P) and Long-Evans rats. In the first phase, rats were tested for ADE after a two-week exposure to 10% ethanol followed by a 5-day deprivation. In the second phase, rats had an additional two-week familiarization with 10% ethanol with ad-lib access followed by a two-week deprivation. In the last phase, rats had an eight-week additional familiarization to ethanol: 2 weeks of ad lib access and the remaining 6 weeks on restricted access. Despite the different manipulations in the three phases, we were unable to produce ADE in all phases. Though Long-Evans rats were found to show a significant increase in consumption in the second phase, consumption did not return to baseline; thus the increase could not unequivocally be attributed to ADE. P rats failed to show ADE in all phases. Different factors can be attributed for our failure to produce ADE. Based on past research, longer familiarization and repeated deprivations are necessary, for ADE to be expressed, then we used in Phase 1 and 2. In the third phase, even if rats had a longer familiarization, repeated manipulation with different procedures could have had a complex interaction effect that altered ADE.