Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


W.M. Keck Science Department

Reader 1

Catherine L Reed

Reader 2

Brian Duistermars


Obesity is correlated with a number of negative health consequences (Fruh, 2017). Thus, researchers have investigated a variety of treatments that might reduce obesity levels. Semaglutide, under the brand name Ozempic, is a new popular drug that has well-documented effects on weight loss and appetite suppression; however, its cognitive effects, specifically in working memory, are not well studied. Some studies have shown that individuals with obesity tend to have preoccupying thoughts about food which may reduce working memory capacity and cognitive ability. In rats, semaglutide treatments reduced the negative effects of obesity and improved task performance. If semaglutide has the effect of also reducing food urges in humans, semaglutide may have a positive impact on working memory. In this proposed study, participants divided into three groups– control group, dieters, and individuals on semaglutide– perform two working memory tests and complete a self-report measure of preoccupying thoughts. If semaglutide improves working memory, then the semaglutide group should have higher working memory scores compared to dieters. In addition, if semaglutide reduces preoccupying thoughts, then the improvement in working memory performance may be attributed to this effect. Alternatively, if preoccupying thoughts are not lower in the semaglutide group, then any working memory improvements may instead, be attributed to the effects of a more cellular explanation, potentially like the one proposed for rats. Regardless of the reason for semaglutide effects, any results on its impact on the working memory of humans would be the first of its kind.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.