Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Preferred Name

Kristian Ponder

Date of Award

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Jeff Dyche

Melanie Shoup-Knox

Dan Holt


The present study explores the relation between sleep restriction and alcohol use and the neural substrates that result from chronic behaviors. Accumulation of the transcription factors ΔFosB is suggested as a possible outcome of chronic behaviors, such as addiction. Sleep is discussed as possible mediating factor in the relationship between ΔFosB and chronic alcohol consumption. There were four experimental groups in this study: Control (C), Sleep Deprivation only (SD), Alcohol Exposure only (AO), and both sleep deprivation and alcohol exposure (B). Levels of ΔFosB accumulation in the Nucleus Accumbens (NAc) revealed a significant main effect of sleep deprivation, but no effect of alcohol. Chronic partial sleep deprivation increased ΔFosB in the NAc more robustly than alcohol. Because previous research indicates that ΔFosB is involved in epigenetic modification and neuronal signaling pathways of addiction, sleep deprivation may be implicated in addiction.