Clinical Neuroscience Section
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
33 Russell Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2S1
(416) 535-8501 ext. 6052
Dr. Martin Zack is a Scientist with the Clinical Neuroscience Section in the Neuroscience Research Department. He is an Adjunct Professor with the Departments of Pharmacology and Public Health Sciences at the University of Toronto.
Areas of Research
Dr. Zack's research examines the neurobiological basis of pathological gambling as well as similarities and differences with substance use disorders. He uses drugs that target specific neurotransmitters and receptor sites (e.g., dopamine, D2 receptors) to reveal their impact on processes linked with addictive motivation in human research participants. His overarching hypothesis is that cognitive processes like attention, memory and inhibitory control mediate the effects of addiction-related stimuli – e.g., priming doses, conditioned cues or stress – on motivation for gambling and drugs. Using validated cognitive science tasks, he can investigate whether experimentally-induced alterations in neurotransmission modify these processes and whether the effects differ for gamblers, substance abusers and healthy volunteers. Dr. Zack also uses this paradigm to test potential medications for pathological gambling and identify factors (e.g., trait impulsivity) that predict medication response. Recently, he has begun to explore the effects of non-invasive brain stimulation on addictive motivation and behaviour in collaboration with CAMH scientists who are experts in this area.
View Dr. Zack's publications on PubMed.