Margaret Wardle, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, conducts research centered on the role of emotional and motivational functioning in addiction. She leads the the Emotions in Addiction Lab, part of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research on Addiction (CNRA). Her research studies the “reward-enhancing” effects of stimulants in humans, demonstrating that stimulant drugs acutely enhance emotional and motivational responses to non-drug rewards. This may explain why individuals with “pleasure deficits,” also known as anhedonia, appear particularly vulnerable to stimulant use. Most recently, her work has focused on anhedonia in cocaine use disorder, for which she has received a NIDA K-Award to test the role of anhedonia in treatment outcomes for cocaine use disorder. This grant examines whether combining stimulant medication with reward-based behavioral treatment can reduce rates of cocaine use by reducing anhedonia.

Dr. Wardle received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and then completed postdoctoral training in human behavioral pharmacology under Harriet de Wit, Ph.D. at the University of Chicago.


Doctoral Degree
Clinical Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago
Postdoctoral Fellowship
Human Behavioral Pharmacology, University of Chicago

Areas of Interests

Clinical Interests

  • Addiction
  • Psychological Assessment

Research Interests

  • Psychopharmacology
  • Substance Use Disorders