Corey Deel; other authors: Samuel Fisher (co-first author) and Tracy R. Griggs


Presentation: 9:00-10:15 a.m., Kennedy Union Ballroom



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Alcohol-use disorders are becoming increasingly prevalent in females, highlighting a need to better understand the relationship between alcohol (ethanol) and other reinforcers, such as voluntary exercise. Preclinical research utilizing male rodents to explore ethanol use and behavior has been the standard, despite documented differences between males and females. Studies have indicated that females run and drink more than males when given access to voluntary wheel running and ethanol. Previous studies in our lab have used male rats to explore the concept of hedonic substitution, which is the replacement of one reinforcer with another, by giving access to voluntary exercise for some time before removing and replacing it with access to ethanol solution (Lynch et al., 2019). However, for this study, we expanded our experimental design to study the relationship between ethanol and voluntary exercise (running) in females. Our current experiment consisted of one group of runners (n=10) with concurrent access to voluntary wheel running and ethanol compared to a group of non-runners (n=10) with access to ethanol. We measured ethanol consumption and preference at 30min and 24hrs, running distance (m) and time spent (min) running. The experiment is ongoing, and to-date we have not observed differences in ethanol measures between our runners and non-runners. We will perform measures of anxiety-like behavior at the experiment’s conclusion.

Publication Date


Project Designation

Course Project 202310 PSY 493 PF

Primary Advisor

Tracy Griggs

Primary Advisor's Department



Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences

Institutional Learning Goals


A Preclinical Model to Study the Relationship Between Alcohol Intake and Voluntary Exercise in Females