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Michael Amlung Image 2019


Dr. Amlung is an Associate Professor (part time) in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, a faculty member in the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, and Director of the Cognitive Neuroscience of Addictions Laboratory (CNALab). He received a MS and PhD in Psychology from the University of Georgia. Before coming to McMaster, Dr. Amlung completed a NIAAA-funded postdoctoral fellowship in alcohol research at the University of Missouri.

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Featured Publications

Amlung, M., MacKillop, J., Monti, P. M., & Miranda Jr., R. (2017). Elevated behavioral economic demand in a community sample of heavy drinking smokers. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 78, 623-628.

Morris, V., Amlung, M., Kaplan, B. A., Reed, D. D., Petker, T., & MacKillop, J. (2017). Using crowdsourcing to examine behavioral economic measures of alcohol value and proportionate alcohol reinforcement. Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology, 25, 314-321.

Amlung, M., Vedelago, L., Acker, J., Balodis, I., & MacKillop, J. (2017). Steep delay discounting and addictive behavior: A meta-analysis of continuous associations. Addiction, 112, 51-62

Gray, J., Amlung, M., Owens, M., Acker, J., Brown, C., Brody, G., Sweet, L., & MacKillop, J. (2017). The neuroeconomics of tobacco demand: An initial investigation of the neural correlates of cigarette cost-benefit decision making. Scientific Reports, 7:41930, 1-10.

Amlung, M., Petker, T., Jackson, J., Balodis, I., & MacKillop, J. (2016). Steep discounting of delayed monetary and food rewards in obesity: A meta-analysis. Psychological Medicine, 46, 2423-2434.

Amlung, M., Morris, D. H., Hatz, L., Teeters, J., Murphy, J. G., & McCarthy, D. M. (2016). Drinking-and-driving-related cognitions mediate the relationship between alcohol demand and alcohol-impaired driving. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 77, 656-660.

Raymond, H., Amlung, M., De Leo, J. A., Hashmani, T., Younger, J., & MacKillop, J. (2016). Adaptation of an acute psychiatric unit to a concurrent disorders unit to increase capacity and improve patient care. Canadian Journal on Addictions, 7(3), 5-33.

Amlung, M., McCarty, K. N., Morris, D. H., Tsai, C. L., & McCarthy, D. M. (2015). Increased behavioral economic demand and craving for alcohol following a laboratory alcohol challenge. Addiction, 110(9), 1421-8.

Amlung, M. & MacKillop, J. (2014). Understanding the effects of stress and alcohol cues on motivation for alcohol via behavioral economics. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. 38(6), 1780-1789.

Amlung, M., Sweet, L. H., Acker, J., Brown, C. L. & MacKillop, J. (2014). Dissociable brain signatures of choice conflict and immediate reward preferences in alcohol use disorders. Addiction Biology. 19(4).


  • B.S., Cognitive Science, Indiana University, 2007
  • M.S., Psychology, University of Georgia, 2009
  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Georgia, 2013
  • Post-Doc, Alcohol Research, University of Missouri, 2013-2015

Research Areas

Dr. Amlung’s research seeks to understand the neurobiological and behavioural correlates of pathological decision-making and motivation, particularly in the context of substance abuse and other unhealthy behaviors. Much of his work draws on concepts from behavioral and neuro-economics to examine impaired self-control and motivation to use alcohol and other drugs in individuals with addictive disorders. His research involves a variety of approaches, including functional neuroimaging, alcohol cue exposures, and self-administration paradigms.


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