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Mark Fillmore


My research areas include behavioral pharmacology, substance abuse, and behavioral neuroscience. The general focus of my program concerns how acute doses of abused drugs alter behavioral and cognitive functioning in humans. The research combines measures of drug effects on cognitive processes with conventional assessments of abuse potential, based on subjective rewarding effects of the drug, and its ability to reinforce self-administration. The objective of these studies is to improve our understanding of how basic cognitive and behavioral mechanisms play a role in the development of substance abuse and drug addiction. Some of the general topics of study in my program include: the role impulsivity and ADHD as risk-factors for alcohol and other drug abuse, alcohol and disinhibition, alcohol and impaired driving, characteristics of DUI offenders, alcohol pharmacokinetics and alcohol tolerance.

The studies are primarily laboratory-based experiments and involve the administration of drugs to human participants under controlled conditions. Several cognitive and behavioral functions are evaluated, including: behavioral inhibition, memory, motor coordination, and information processing, and simulated driving performance. Drugs that are studied include: alcohol, cocaine, benzodiazepines, caffeine, and some current pharmacotherapies for drug abuse, such as naltrexone. The studies examine adults from various populations, including those with drug-abuse histories and those with no history of drug abuse.

My research program is funded by NIH grants from the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. The research is ideally suited for graduate training of students with a broad range of interests (neuroscience, clinical, cognition, etc.). Applicants to our graduate program with undergraduate research backgrounds in animal research and human cognition/learning are especially suited for graduate training in my lab.

Graduate Training

Ph.D. Univ. of Waterloo, 1993