Faculty Advisor

Ryder, Elizabeth F.


Nicotine exposure during the adolescent period can have critical consequences, particularly on individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. NicotineÂ’s effects on behavior and brain integrity were tested in the Sprague Dawley and the Spontaneously Hypertensive Rat (an ADHD model). For cognitive function, memory was tested using the novel object recognition paradigm. Brain integrity was observed using non-invasive methods of diffusion tensor imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy.While both rat strains showed expected effects of nicotine on locomotion, no strong effects of the drug on NOR were observed. Only SD rats presented a significant change in brain integrity due to nicotine exposure. This may suggest that SHR rats are less sensitive to nicotine's effects.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

April 2016



Project Type

Major Qualifying Project


Restricted-WPI community only

Advisor Department

Biology and Biotechnology

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