Faculty: Martin Zack, PhD

Martin Zack, PhDMartin Zack, PhD
Assistant Professor, Pharmacology
Scientist, Cognitive Psychopharmacology Laboratory, Center for Addiction and Mental Health

General Research Areas: Drug Addiction, Neuropharmacology/Psychopharmacology
Psychopharmacology of Cognition and Motivational Processes in Addicted Populations

My research examines the neurobiological basis of pathological gambling as well as similarities and differences with substance use disorders. I use drugs that target specific neurotransmitters and receptor sites to reveal their impact on processes linked with addictive thought processes and motivation in human participants with addictive disorders and healthy volunteers. I also collaborate with investigators who use positron emission tomography (PET) and non-invasive brain stimulation to assess and manipulate neurotransmission on-line.


Selected Publications:

Kozak K, Dermody SS, Rabin RA, Zack M, Barr MS, Tyndale RF, George TP. Effects of varenicline on cognitive function in non-smokers with schizophrenia. Schizophr Res. 2017 Mar 10. pii: S0920-9964(17)30143-3. doi: 10.1016/j.schres.2017.03.023.


Zack MH, Lobo DS, Biback C, Fang T, Smart K, Tatone D, Kalia A, Digiacomo D, Kennedy JL.

Parallel role for the dopamine D1 receptor in gambling and amphetamine reinforcement in healthy volunteers.  J Psychopharmacol. 2017 Jan;31(1):31-42. doi: 10.1177/0269881116665329. Epub 2016 Sep 27.


Quilty, LC, Lobo, DS, Zack, M, Crewe-Brown, C, Blaszczynski, A. Hitting the jackpot: the influence of monetary payout on gambling behavior. Intl Gambling Stud 2016, 16: 481-499 doi: 10.1080/14459795.2016.1242022 


Zack M, Cho SS, Parlee J, Jacobs M, Li C, Boileau I, Strafella A. Effects of High Frequency Repeated Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and Continuous Theta Burst Stimulation on Gambling Reinforcement, Delay Discounting, and Stroop Interference in Men with Pathological Gambling. Brain Stimul. 2016 Nov - Dec;9(6):867-875. doi: 10.1016/j.brs.2016.06.003. Epub 2016 Jun 14. 


Zack M, Boileau I, Payer D, Chugani B, Lobo DS, Houle S, Wilson AA, Warsh JJ, Kish SJ. Differential cardiovascular and hypothalamic pituitary response to amphetamine in male pathological gamblers versus healthy controls. J Psychopharmacol. 2015 Sep;29(9):971-82. doi: 10.1177/0269881115592338. Epub 2015 Jul 7.


Pushparaj A, Kim AS, Musiol M, Zangen A, Daskalakis ZJ, Zack M, Winstanley CA, Le Foll B. Differential Involvement of the Agranular vs Granular Insular Cortex in the Acquisition and Performance of Choice Behavior in a Rodent Gambling Task. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2015 Nov;40(12):2832-42. doi: 10.1038/npp.2015.133. Epub 2015 May 8.


Payer DE, Guttman M, Kish SJ, Tong J, Strafella A, Zack M, Adams JR, Rusjan P, Houle S, Furukawa Y, Wilson AA, Boileau I. [¹¹C]-(+)-PHNO PET imaging of dopamine D(2/3) receptors in Parkinson's disease with impulse control disorders. Mov Disord. 2015 Feb;30(2):160-6. doi: 10.1002/mds.26135. Epub 2015 Jan 14.


Zack M, Featherstone RE, Mathewson S, Fletcher PJ. Chronic exposure to a gambling-like schedule of reward predictive stimuli can promote sensitization to amphetamine in rats. Front Behav Neurosci. 2014 Feb 11;8:36. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2014.00036. eCollection 2014.


Boileau I, Payer D, Chugani B, Lobo DS, Houle S, Wilson AA, Warsh J, Kish SJ, Zack M. In vivo evidence for greater amphetamine-induced dopamine release in pathological gambling: a positron emission tomography study with [(11)C]-(+)-PHNO. Mol Psychiatry. 2014 Dec;19(12):1305-13. doi: 10.1038/mp.2013.163. Epub 2013 Dec 10.


Zack M. Opioid and dopamine mediation of gambling responses in recreational gamblers.

Front Behav Neurosci. 2013 Oct 14;7:147. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00147. eCollection 2013.  


Boileau I, Payer D, Chugani B, Lobo D, Behzadi A, Rusjan PM, Houle S, Wilson AA, Warsh J, Kish SJ, Zack M. The D2/3 dopamine receptor in pathological gambling: a positron emission tomography study with [11C]-(+)-propyl-hexahydro-naphtho-oxazin and [11C]raclopride.

Addiction. 2013 May;108(5):953-63. doi: 10.1111/add.12066. Epub 2013 Jan 3.


Smart K, Desmond RC, Poulos CX, Zack M. Modafinil increases reward salience in a slot machine game in low and high impulsivity pathological gamblers. Neuropharmacology. 2013 Oct;73:66-74. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.05.015. Epub 2013 May 24.



Cognitive Pharmacology Laboratory
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
33 Russell Street
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 2S1
Phone: (416) 535-8501, ext. 36052
FAX: (416) 595-6618
Email: martin.zack@camh.ca

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