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Melissa Herman, PhD, and her lab recently published their research investigating the relationship between affective states and ethanol (EtOH) intake using male and female Sprague-Dawley rats in the journal Psychopharmacology. Dr. Herman and her team observed sex- and test- specific differences in basal affective behavior. In female rats only, depressive-like behavior predicted future EtOH intake, and post-drinking anxiety-like behavior, but not depressive-like behavior, predicted subsequent EtOH intake. In addition, history of EtOH intake decreased pain thresholds in both male and female rats, but increased anxiety-like and depressive-like behavior was associated with decreased thermal sensitivity only in EtOH-drinking males. This research provides valuable information to the complex interaction between negative affect and EtOH intake. Their work provides insights regarding how these two contexts reciprocally do, or do not, influence each other in a sex-specific manner. The publication can be accessed at


Quadir SG, Arleth GM, Jahad JV, Echeveste Sanchez M, Effinger DP, Herman MA. Sex differences in affective states and association with voluntary ethanol intake in Sprague-Dawley rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2022 Feb;239(2):589-604. doi: 10.1007/s00213-021-06052-x. Epub 2022 Jan 19. PMID: 35044485.