Marc N Potenza PhD, MD

Professor of Psychiatry, in the Child Study Center and of Neurobiology; Director, Center of Excellence in Gambling Research; Director, Yale Program for Research on Impulsivity and Impulse Control Disorders; Director, Women and Addictive Disorders, Women's Health Research at Yale

Research Interests

Pathological gambling; Impulse control disorders; Substance abuse; Addiction; Gender differences

Current Projects

We have treatment studies for people with gambling problems with or without tobacco smoking. We have brain imaging studies for people with gambling or substance use problems.

Research Summary

My research focuses on how non-substance ("behavioral") addictions are similar to and different from substance addictions. We use brain imaging, genetic, clinical, pharmacological, behavioral and epidemiological approaches to study this topic. We are also interested how individual differences related to impulsivity and gender, for example, influence non-substance and substance addictions.

Extensive Research Description

Dr. Potenza's research has focused on the neurobiology and treatment of substance and non-substance addictions and other disorders characterized by impaired impulse control, particularly the disorders characterized in DSM-IV as “Impulse Control Disorders Not Elsewhere Classified.” The majority of this work has focused on understanding clinical and neurobiological underpinnings of these disorders, and their co-occurrences with other mental health disorders, in order to advance prevention and treatment strategies. Dr. Potenza's research has applied brain imaging, genetic, epidemiological and clinical trials methodologies to gain knowledge and improve prevention and treatment strategies for addictive disorders. This work has also involved a specific focus on gender and identifying potential intermediary phenotypes, like facets of impulsivity, that may in part explain the high rates of co-occurrence between impulse control disorders and other mental health conditions, and might represent novel targets for prevention and treatment strategies.


Selected Publications

  • Jastreboff AM, Potenza MN, Lacadie C, Hong K, Sherwin R, Sinha R (in press) Body mass index, metabolic factors and striatal activation during stressful and neutral/relaxing states: an fMRI study. Neuropsychopharmacol
  • Desai RA, Krishnan-Sarin S, Cavallo DA, Potenza MN (in press) Gender differences in the clinical correlates of problematic video game playing in high school students. Pediatrics
  • Barry DT, Stefanovics EA, Desai RA, Potenza MN (in press) Gambling Problem Severity and Psychiatric Disorders among Hispanic and White Adults: Findings from a Nationally Representative Sample. J Psychiatry Res
  • Liu TC, Desai RA, Krishnan-Sarin S, Cavallo DA, Potenza MN (in press) Problematic Internet Use and Health in Adolescents: Data from a High School Survey in Connecticut. J Clin Psychiatry
  • Grant JE, Odlaug BL, Potenza MN, Hollander E, Kim SW (2010) A Multi-Center, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of the Opioid Antagonist Nalmefene in the Treatment of Pathological Gambling. Brit J Psychiatry 197:330-331
  • Xu J, DeVito EE, Worhunsky PD, Carroll KM, Rounsaville BJ, Potenza MN (2010) White Matter Integrity is Associated with Treatment Outcome Measures in Cocaine Dependence. Neuropsychopharmacol 35:1541-1549.

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