Attention-deficit/hyperactive disorder (ADHD) is a childhood onset neuropsychological disorder that persists through adulthood and is characterized by hyperactivity and significant inattentiveness. Children affected by ADHD also have a high comorbidity of sleep disorders. In general, reduction of nightly sleep shows deficits in attention, working memory, and processing speed, which can be exacerbated for children with ADHD. Spontaneous-Hypertensive Rodents (SHR) are an optimal research model of ADHD due to their similar hyperactivity and deficits in engaging with stimuli. This study focused on the comparison of the SHR and the Sprague-Dawley’s (SD) performance in a spontaneous alternation task presented in the water T-Maze and activity levels in the open field after eight-hour sleep deprivation. The SHR had overall higher activity in the open field and did not habituate with repeated exposure, validating their hyperactive nature. There was no significant effect of sleep deprivation for correct choices in the T-Maze for the SHR or the SD. However, the SD had a significant increase in performance after sleep recovery (p = 0.03). Overall, we concluded that sleep deprivation and recovery affects SHR differently than the SD, and suggest continued studies to better understand this difference found.


Stavnezer, Amy Jo




Applied Behavior Analysis


ADHD, Sleep Deprivation, SHR, Spontaneous Alternation

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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