Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick Ernst

Second Advisor

Dr. Mark Winkel

Third Advisor

Dr. Amy A. Weimer


One researched and developed phenomenon is activity anorexia (AA) in rats and its resemblance to the human pathology anorexia nervosa (AN). Researchers have long relied on this comparative model for AN as AA. This study aims to reanalyze the overt physiological phenomena of AA to test an addictive theory against the prevalent AA theory. Equal numbers of subjects could eat or run during a one hour feeding period and all activity was monitored per 30 minutes. Results showed that daily running correlated with an increase in food consumption with no effect of food suppression. The only factor that regressed to food or activity was days in the protocol. An anticipatory response was elicited and the animals would run excessively and sporadically whenever their exhaustion had subsided. It is proposed that the observed running behavior and activity may be better explained by addictive behaviors rather than an anorexic phenomenon.


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