Date of Completion

Spring 5-19-2021

Thesis Advisor(s)

John D. Salamone; Andrew Moiseff

Honors Major

Physiology and Neurobiology


Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Medicine and Health Sciences | Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences | Psychiatry and Psychology


Binge Eating Disorder (BED) is a psychiatric disorder that is characterized by the consumption of an excessive amount of food in a short period of time despite not being hungry. Numerous animal models have been developed that can induce binge-like eating behavior through limited access to a highly palatable food. One such model utilizes Cadbury’s milk chocolate that is very successful in inducing binge-like eating behavior in both male and female rats. Lisdexamfetamine (LDX), a d-amphetamine prodrug and the only FDA approved pharmaceutical treatment for BED, has been shown to significantly reduce chocolate consumption in the chocolate binge-like animal model. The current project aimed to determine if similar binge-like eating behavior can be obtained through the use of either high carbohydrate pellets, the standard highly palatable food used in effort-related operant tasks, and/or grain-based pellets, similar to the standard lab chow that animals have ad libitum. It is hypothesized that if the two types of pellets generate a similar binge-like eating behavior, then LDX may have a similar effect as in the chocolate model. Results show a significant increase in pellet consumption with increased exposure but not to the same degree as chocolate. LDX suppressed intake of all three types of food, though with different dose-related patterns. These findings show a combination of similarities and differences when studying the consumption of palatable foods, like chocolate and pellets, and less palatable food, like grain-based pellets, and the effects of LDX administration.