Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Honors Thesis



First Advisor

Jennifer Berry


Alcohol is a widely available drug that is often abused. Studies have shown alcohol-induced memory loss in humans and animals; however, the large amount of alcohol often necessary to observe such loss and use of involuntary drinking paradigms in animals makes translation difficult. The current study was designed to look at voluntary binge-like drinking behavior and memory in rodents. We anticipated decreases in working memory function following consumption of binge-like alcohol in mice and expected a greater deficit in mice experiencing acute withdrawal during the memory task. The present study explored drinking behaviors in adult C57BL/6J mice (18 male, 18 female) using an intermittent access 2-bottle choice paradigm to alcohol (3-20% v/v). Mice were separated into three conditions: water, alcohol, and alcohol withdrawal. Each group had access to a secondary (drug) bottle every 24 hours. The amount of liquid consumed from each bottle was recorded daily. Approximately 24 hours after the last drinking day, working memory was assessed using the novel object recognition (NOR) test. Results showed a significant main effect of concentration, where all mice consumed significantly more alcohol when exposed to higher concentrations. Results also showed a significant main effect of gender, where females drank significantly more alcohol than males. There was also a significant interaction of concentration and sex, where females drank more alcohol than males at higher concentrations. There were no significant findings for the NOR. These results highlight the need for more research into the memory-impairing effects of alcohol consumption and withdrawal.

Included in

Psychology Commons