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Excessive Activity and Anorexia in Rats

  • W. F. Epling
  • W. D. Pierce

Abstract

When rats are fed one meal a day, they lose weight but soon adjust their food intake and survive. Interestingly, when these animals are exposed to the same food schedule and allowed to run on a wheel, they die of starvation (Epling et al. 1981, 1983). Wheel running becomes excessive if food is restricted and animals may complete more than 10000 turns per day, a distance equivalent to 10 km. This excessive activity interferes with feeding and causes a steady decline in body weight. As wheel running peaks, animals may stop eating — even though this is not required by the experimental procedures. We have called this process activity-based anorexia and we have argued that a similar anorexia occurs in humans (Epling and Pierce 1988).

Keywords

Eating Disorder Food Deprivation Excessive Activity Wheel Running Reinforcement Effectiveness 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. F. Epling
    • 1
  • W. D. Pierce
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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