Ethanol, Drug, and Gambling Experimental Lab

The EDGE Lab specializes in research relevant to addiction, sexual risk behavior, and related conditions. Our broad scope includes the use of novel human laboratory paradigms and technology-based interventions.

Lead by led by Dr. Robert Leeman, Ph.D, the EDGE Lab at Northeastern University is comprised of a dynamic team of graduate students, undergraduate students, and professional research staff.

The lab conducts NIH-funded research, developing interventions to improve addictive and sexual behaviors. The lab also studies the etiologies of these behaviors, focusing on areas such as impulsivity and impaired control. Our technology-based interventions utilize smartphone apps and personalized, automated calls to provide feedback to participants and help them regain control of their health.

New studies and interventions are also being designed. A new app is being tested to help those with Opioid Use Disorder address attentional biases to drug cues. And another app to provide personalized feedback on cognitive performance in heavy-drinking young adults is in the works as well.

Why what we do is important

Young adults engage in a high level of risky behaviors such as heavy drinking, unprotected sex, excessive spending, etc. The EDGE Lab seeks to moderate these actions by creating interventions that can be used across all demographics to improve health and ultimate quality of life.

Current Studies



Multi-Modal Technological Intervention, Alcohol use, and Telehealth Counseling for young adults


Less is More

Contingency Management for Alcohol use for Adults living with HIV


Subjective Response to Alcohol, Alcohol Administration, and EMA among Young Adults.



HIV Risk, HIV Prevention, Alcohol Use, and Sexual Risk Behavior among MSM



Subjective Response and Impulsivity regarding Alcohol Use

Berey, B.L.Leeman, R.F., Pittman, B., Franco, N., & Krishnan-Sarin, S. (2019). Does self-reported or behavioral impulsivity predict subjective response to low-dose alcohol? Alcohol & Alcoholism.

Impulsivity, Addiction, and Sexual Tendencies

Leeman, R.F., Rowland, B.H.P., Gebru, N.M., & Potenza, M.N. (2018). Relationships among Impulsive, Addictive and Sexual Tendencies and Behaviours: A Systematic Review of Experimental and Prospective Studies in Humans. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 374(1766).

Alcohol Administration and Smartphone Breathalyzer use among Young Adults

Leeman, R. F., Berey, B. L., Frohe, T., Rowland, B. H. P., Martens, M. P., Fucito, L. M., Stellefson, M., Nixon, S. J., & O’Malley, S. S. (2022). A combined laboratory and field test of a smartphone breath alcohol device and blood alcohol concentration estimator to facilitate moderate drinking among young adults. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 36(6), 710–723.

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