Dr. James MacKillop, McMaster University
Director, Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences
Applying behavioural economics and neuroeconomics to understand addiction: a translational approach
Behavioural economics refers to diverse lines of inquiry that integrate principles and methods from psychology and economics to understand decision making. More recently, behavioural economics has been further hybridized with cognitive neuroscience to identify the underlying neural substrates of choice preferences. As maladaptive decision making for alcohol, other drugs, or certain behaviours is a pathognomonic feature of addictive disorders, these conditions are increasingly examined through the lens of behavioral economics. In this presentation, I will focus on one specific form of behavioral economic decision making, delay discounting, or the degree to which a person prefers smaller immediate rewards compared to larger delayed rewards. In doing so, I will emphasize a translational approach, integrating behavioral, neuroimaging, genetics, and clinical findings.
James MacKillop is Peter Boris Chair in Addictions Research and Director of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research, and a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University. To date, Dr. MacKillop’s research has generated over 160 peer-reviewed publications and other works, and he has been Principal Investigator or Co-Investigator on numerous grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Alcoholic Beverage Medical Research Foundation, and other extramural funders. His work has been recognized by a career award from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, the G. Alan Marlatt Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions from the Society for Addiction Psychology, and the Young Investigator Award from the Research Society on Alcoholism. In addition to his own research, he is active in peer review, serving as Field Editor for the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, Associate Editor for Nicotine and Tobacco Research, Assistant Editor for Addiction, and as a standing member of the Clinical and Health Services Review Subcommittee of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.
Annually the Department of Psychology hosts a Colloquia Series throughout the academic year.