Marc Lewis

Neuroscientist & Author

As a neuroscientist and one-time addict, Professor Marc Lewis can draw on a wealth of personal experience as well as scientific knowledge when it comes to explaining addiction. His history of addiction began at a boarding school in New England, where he turned to alcohol, marijuana, and cough medicine to ease his homesickness for Canada. After moving to California in the late 60s, he went on to discover LSD, cocaine, and eventually heroin. He became a regular opium user during a year in Asia and then returned to Toronto, where he began stealing to get drugs. His life changed when he was convicted of theft and forced to leave graduate school. Lewis kicked the habit, earned a PhD in developmental psychology, and went on to become a researcher in developmental neuroscience. Much of his research revolves around the role of the brain in the development of emotion and personality and, more recently, the development of addiction.

In 2011, Lewis published Memoirs of an Addicted Brain, in which he recounts his personal history and analyses the psychological and neurological progression of his addiction. The book also offers clear and accessible insight into the neuropsychological effects of various drugs, which he continues to discuss on his blog at

Marc Lewis obtained his PhD from the University of Toronto in 1989 and worked there as a professor until he was appointed to Radboud University in Nijmegen.

PINC.14, Neuroscience,