Prenatal alcohol exposure causes attention deficits in male rats

Kathryn A. Hausknecht, Ashley Acheson, Andrew M. Farrar, Artur K. Kieres, Roh Yu Shen, Jerry B. Richards, Karen E. Sabol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Scopus citations


Children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) are often diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). These children show increases in reaction time (RT) variability and false alarms on choice reaction time (CRT) tasks. In this study, adult rats prenatally exposed to ethanol were trained to perform a CRT task. An analysis of the distribution of RTs obtained from the CRT task found that rats with a history of prenatal ethanol exposure had more variable RT distributions, possibly because of lapses of attention. In addition, it was found that, similar to children with FASD, the ethanol-exposed rats had more false alarms. Thus, rats with prenatal ethanol exposure show attention deficits that are similar to those of children with FASD and ADHD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-310
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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