Michael Amlung

Michael Amlung
  • Associate Director for Training & Associate Scientist, Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment
  • Associate Professor, Department of Applied Behavioral Science


Dr. Michael Amlung is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Behavioral Science and an Associate Scientist in the Cofrin Logan Center for Addiction Research and Treatment. He is also the Director of the Addictions Lab @ KU, which conducts research on causes, consequences, and treatment of addictive disorders. His research examines factors that contribute to pathological decision-making in individuals with substance use disorders, the behavioral and brain basis of motivation to use alcohol and other drugs, and the effects of environmental contexts and physiological states on addictive behaviors.

Dr. Amlung received a M.S. and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Georgia and completed a NIAAA-funded postdoctoral fellowship in addictions research at the University of Missouri. He was previously an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster University, where he remains a faculty affiliate of the Peter Boris Centre for Addictions Research. In Summer 2020, Dr. Amlung joined the faculty at KU and moved his laboratory to the Lawrence campus.

In the Department of Applied Behavioral Science at KU, Dr. Amlung serves as chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and a member of the Graduate Studies Committee. Dr. Amlung has served as an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Addiction from 2018-2021Special Issue Editor for Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, and Program Chair for the Collaborative Perspectives on Addiction conference sponsored by the Society of Addiction Psychology (APA Division 50).

Dr. Amlung will be recruiting graduate students to start in Applied Behavioral Science programs (MS/PhD) at KU for a Fall 2023 start date. Interested students should contact Dr. Amlung by email for more information.


Teaching and Mentoring

Dr. Amlung teaches courses and mentors students in the MA/PhD graduate programs in Departments of Applied Behavioral Science at the University of Kansas. He will be accepting applications this fall for a new graduate student for the 2022-2023 academic year. The deadline for applications is December 1, 2021. Interested students should contact Dr. Amlung by email for more information.

Dr. Amlung’s teaching interests include courses in addictions, behavioral and neuroeconomics, research methods and meta-analytic approaches. He is also interested in professional development for faculty and students, including leadership, grant writing, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Amlung is deeply committed to his role as a mentor for graduate students, undergraduate students, and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in addictions and behavioral science research. Visit Dr. Amlung’s laboratory website to learn more about opportunities and mentoring philosophy.

Selected Publications

View Complete List of Peer-Reviewed Publications on PubMed

Dr. Amlung’s mentees and postdoctoral fellows are denoted by **

Naudé, G.P., Reed, D.D., Thornton, T.J., & Amlung, M. (In Press). Dual use of alcohol and cannabis among college students: A reinforcer pathologies approach. Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology.

**Patel, H. & Amlung, M.(2022). Acute and extended exposure to episodic future thinking in a treatment seeking addiction sample: A pilot study. Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. 116.

**Morris, V., Goodgame-Huffman, L., **Naish, K., Holshausen, K., Oshri, A., McKinnon, M., Amlung, M. (2020). Impulsivity as a mediating factor in the association between post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms and substance use. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, and Policy. 12(6), 659-668.

**Patel, H., **Naish, K. R., & Amlung, M. (2020). Discounting of delayed monetary and cannabis rewards in a crowdsourced sample of adults. Experimental & Clinical Psychopharmacology, 28(4), 462-470.

**Vedelago, L., Metrik, J., & Amlung, M. (2020). Differentiating medicinal and recreational cannabis users via cannabis use motives. Cannabis, 3(1).

Amlung, M., Marsden, E., Holshausen, K., **Morris, V., **Patel, H., **Vedelago, L., **Naish, K. R., Reed, D. D., McCabe, R. E., (2019). Delay discounting as a transdiagnostic process in psychiatric disorders: A meta-analysis. JAMA Psychiatry, 76, 1176-1186.

Amlung, M., Reed, D.D., **Morris, V., Aston, E.R., Metrik, J., & MacKillop, J. (2019). Price Elasticity of Illegal vs Legal Cannabis: A Behavioral Economic Substitutability Analysis. Addiction, 114, 112-118.

Amlung, M. & MacKillop, J., (2019). Availability of legalized cannabis reduces demand for illegal cannabis among Canadian cannabis users: Evidence from a behavioural economic substitution paradigm. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 110, 216-221.

**Morris, V., Owens, M. M., Syan, S. K., Petker, T. D., Sweet, L. H., Oshri, A., MacKillop, J., & Amlung, M. (2019). Associations between drinking and cortical thickness in younger adults: Findings from the Human Connectome Project. Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research, 43(9), 1918-1927.

**Patel, H., Reed, D.D., MacKillop, J., & Amlung, M. (2019). Clarifying the Relation between Alcohol Demand and Alcohol-Related Relative Reinforcement and Driving after Drinking in a Canadian Community Sample. Canadian Journal of Addiction, 10(1), 16-23.

**Morris, V., **Patel, H., **Vedelago, L., Reed, D.D., Metrik, J., Aston, E., MacKillop, J., & Amlung, M. (2018). Elevated behavioral economic demand for alcohol and co-users of alcohol and cannabis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 79, 929-934.

**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

Grants & Other Funded Activity


National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R01 AA027255-01

Title Using Neuroeconomics to Characterize State-Based Increases and Decreases in Alcohol Value

Role: Principal Investigator

Total Funding: $1,039,256 (USD)



University of Kansas Office of Research, New Faculty General Research Fund

Title: Establishing a Longitudinal Neuroimaging Research Program to Investigate Novel Brain Markers of Addiction Treatment Outcome

Role: Principal Investigator

Total Funding: $20,000



National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R21 AA026392

Title: Intracortical Myelin as a Novel Neural Marker of Alcohol Use Disorder

Role: Principal Investigator

Total Funding: $281,772 (USD)



National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, R01 AA025911

Title: Using Neuroeconomics to Understand Alcohol Overvaluation in Alcohol Use Disorder

Role: Co-Investigator (PIs: James MacKillop, Lawrence Sweet)

Total Funding: $1,274,651 (USD)



Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), Project Grant

Title: Applying Behavioral Economics to Predict Alcohol Trajectories during the Transition to Adulthood

Role: Co-Investigator (PI: James MacKillop)

Total Funding: $1,215,555 (CAD)



Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Mental Wellness in Public Safety Team Grant

Title: A Randomized Control Trial of a Novel Approach to Cognitive Training in Public Safety Personnel with Post-traumatic Stress Injuries

Role: Co-Investigator (PIs: Margaret McKinnon, Ruth Lanius)

Total Funding: $990,000 (CAD)