Faculty: Martin Zack, PhD

Martin Zack, PhDMartin Zack, PhD
Adjunct Professor, Pharmacology
Scientist, Molecular Brain Sciences Section, Centre 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:

Fugariu V, Zack MH, Nobrega JN, Fletcher PJ, Zeeb FD. Effects of exposure to chronic uncertainty and a sensitizing regimen of amphetamine injections on locomotion, decision-making, and dopamine receptors in rats. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2020 Apr;45(5):811-822. doi: 10.1038/s41386-020-0599-x. Epub 2020 Jan 6.PMID: 31905371.
Zack M, St George R, Clark L. Dopaminergic signaling of uncertainty and the aetiology of gambling addiction. Prog Neuropsychopharmacol Biol Psychiatry. 2020 Apr 20;99:109853. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2019.109853. Epub 2019 Dec 20.PMID: 31870708 Review.

Delano K, Koren G, Zack M, Kapur BM. Prevalence of Fetal Alcohol Exposure by Analysis of Meconium Fatty Acid Ethyl Esters; A National Canadian Study. Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 19;9(1):2298. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-38856-5.PMID: 30783158. 

Zack M. (2019) How uncertainty begets hope: A model of adaptive and maladaptive seeking behavior. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 42, e57 E-pub Mar 19, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0140525X18001875

Clark, L., Boileau, I., Zack, M. (2018) Neuroimaging of reward mechanisms in Gambling disorder: An integrative review. Molecular Psychiatry, Sep 13. doi: 10.1038/s41380-018-0230-2.  [Epub ahead of print]

Zeeb, F.D., Li, Z., Fisher, D.C., Zack, M.H., Fletcher, P.J. (2017). Uncertainty exposure causes behavioural sensitization and increases risky decision-making in male rats: toward modelling gambling disorder. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, 42, 404-413.

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.



Molecular Brain Sciences Section
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
33 Russell Street
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5S 2S1
Phone: (416) 799-0584
FAX: (416) 595-6618
Email: martin.zack@camh.ca