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Date of Award

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Signal detection theory can measure impulsive behavior. To further examine this paradigm, the researcher attempted to replicate previous findings with more experimental control and examine impulsive behaviors in a putative model of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat. Four strains of rats attempted to discriminate between the presence and absences of a 3 kHz tone within a 5-6 kHz masker; however, only one rat reached stabilization. To aid in training and reduce difficulty of the task, the researcher presented the rat wit forced-choice trials. Although the additional training increased their variability of correct responses, rats were unable to reach the stability criterion. The complexity of the task could account for low stabilization rates. The methodology could be used to create experimental designs to further investigate impulsivity through auditory discrimination using simpler tasks.

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