Honors Theses


Tracy R. Butler



Publication Date

Spring 4-2016

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Background: Acute stress elicits many physiological, behavioral, and neurological responses, and many studies have aimed to better our understanding of these responses and their effects. However, a majority of preclinical studies have used male test subjects, despite growing evidence that males and females have different responses to acute and chronic stressors. This study thus aims to evaluate the ability of three different acute stressors to cause a physiological stress response in adult and adolescent female subjects.

Methods: In this preliminary investigation, Female Long Evans rats (N=12) underwent three acute stressors over the course of three consecutive days. In order, these stressors were Swim Stress (SS), Elevated Platform with High Light (EP-HL), and Predator Odor (PO). Plasma samples were collected both prior to and following each stressor, and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) levels were measured to assess the subject’s physiological response to each stressor. For the two weeks that followed, EtOH self administration was assessed along with final IL-1β levels.

Permission Statement

This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes.


Undergraduate research


Biological Psychology | Psychology