University of Calgary

Daniel McGrath

  • Associate Professor

Research Interests

My research program is primarily focused on the behavioral pharmacology of addiction and disordered gambling. Much of this research involves conducting experiments in a laboratory setting in which substances are administered and participants are asked to gamble on slot machines/video lottery terminals (VLTs). The main purpose of this line of work is to help researchers and clinicians better understand the interaction between use of addictive substances (e.g., tobacco, alcohol) and gambling behaviour. Another major research interest is the role of attentional bias in disordered gambling. Specifically, I am interested in the influence of attentional engagement to visual stimuli on gambling craving and ultimately relapse to gambling participation. This attentional bias is believed to be implicit (below conscious awareness) and is measured in our lab using highly specialized eye tracking equipment which records the extent to which an individual attends to and focuses on gambling stimuli. Finally, I have several other gambling-focused research interests including disordered gambling subtypes, personality characteristics of gamblers, sex differences, behavioural analysis, and the role of expectancies in gambling. 

Research Support

Alberta Gambling Research Institute (AGRI)
Nova Scotia Health Research Foundation (NSHRF)
Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre (OPGRC)
The University Research Grants Committee (URGC), University of Calgary


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