Motivation for Starvation and Flexible Adaptation: Investigating the Imbalance Between Reward and Control in an Activity-Based Rat Model of Anorexia Nervosa
thesisposted on 16.07.2021, 04:53 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.