Monash University
Laura Milton Thesis Final.pdf (9.34 MB)

Motivation for Starvation and Flexible Adaptation: Investigating the Imbalance Between Reward and Control in an Activity-Based Rat Model of Anorexia Nervosa

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posted on 2021-07-16, 04:53 authored by LAURA KARINA MILTON
Anorexia nervosa (AN) has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, yet there are currently no effective treatments. In order to develop therapies that work, detailed information about how brain function and behaviour drive pathological weight loss is required. This thesis utilised the activity-based anorexia (ABA) rat model to interrogate the biological underpinnings of AN, specifically focussing on reward processing and cognitive control. Using sophisticated behavioural testing paradigms and innovative approaches to manipulate neural circuits, these studies demonstrate that motivation and cognitive flexibility are critical mediators of the ABA phenotype, revealing vital new information about the causes of AN.


Principal supervisor

Claire Foldi

Additional supervisor 1

Brian Oldfield

Year of Award


Department, School or Centre

Biomedical Sciences (Monash Biomedicine Discovery Institute)

Additional Institution or Organisation


Campus location



Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Type



Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences