Date of Completion

Spring 5-6-2012

Thesis Advisor(s)

John Salamone

Honors Major



Cognitive Psychology | Psychology


In humans, psychiatric symptoms such as anergia and psychomotor retardation reflect pathologies in behavioral activation. These motivational symptoms are fundamental aspects of depression and other disorders. Drugs such as reserpine and tetrabenazine deplete monoamines, including dopamine, and induce depressive like behaviors in humans. Our results indicate that administration of low doses of tetrabenazine can alter effort-related choice behavior, biasing animals towards low effort alternatives. These findings may be related to the ability of monoamine depleting agents such as tetrabenazine to blunt behavioral activation and induce psychomotor retardation, anergia and fatigue in humans, and this research could be useful for the development of drug treatments for effort-related motivational symptoms in humans.