Scott Huettel

Professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience and Chair

Education & Training

  • Ph.D., Duke University 1999


Research in my laboratory investigates the brain mechanisms underlying economic and social decision making; collectively, this research falls into the field of “decision neuroscience” or "neuroeconomics". My laboratory uses fMRI to probe brain function, behavioral assays to characterize individual differences, and other physiological methods (e.g., eye tracking, pharmacological manipulation, genetics) to link brain and behavior. Concurrent with research on basic processes, my laboratory has also investigated the application of new analysis methods for fMRI data, including functional connectivity analyses, pattern classification analyses, and combinatoric multivariate approaches. We have also been applying computational methods to problems in behavioral economics and consumer decision making.  

I have also been very active in outreach, mentorship, and educational activities; as examples, I am lead author on the textbook Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (Sinauer Associates; 3rd edition in 2014), I teach courses on Decision Neuroscience and Neuroethics, and many of my postdoctoral and graduate trainees (12 as of 2015) lead research laboratories of their own.


Decision making, neuroeconomics, behavioral economics, social cognition, executive function, fMRI

Crozier, JC, Wang, L, Huettel, SA, and De Bellis, MD. "Neural correlates of cognitive and affective processing in maltreated youth with posttraumatic stress symptoms: does gender matter?." Development and psychopathology 26.2 (May 2014): 491-513. Full Text

Damiano, CR, Aloi, J, Dunlap, K, Burrus, CJ, Mosner, MG, Kozink, RV, McLaurin, RE, Mullette-Gillman, OA, Carter, RM, Huettel, SA, McClernon, FJ, Ashley-Koch, A, and Dichter, GS. "Association between the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene and mesolimbic responses to rewards." Molecular autism 5.1 (January 31, 2014): 7-. Full Text Open Access Copy

Stanton, SJ, Reeck, C, Huettel, SA, and LaBar, KS. "Effects of induced moods on economic choices." Judgment and Decision Making 9.2 (January 1, 2014): 167-175.

Smidts, A, Hsu, M, Sanfey, AG, Boksem, MAS, Ebstein, RB, Huettel, SA, Kable, JW, Karmarkar, UR, Kitayama, S, Knutson, B, Liberzon, I, Lohrenz, T, Stallen, M, and Yoon, C. "Advancing consumer neuroscience." Marketing Letters 25.3 (January 1, 2014): 257-267. Full Text

Utevsky, AV, Smith, DV, and Huettel, SA. "Precuneus is a functional core of the default-mode network." The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 34.3 (January 2014): 932-940. Full Text

Li, R, Brannon, EM, and Huettel, SA. "Children do not exhibit ambiguity aversion despite intact familiarity bias." Frontiers in psychology 5 (January 2014): 1519-. Full Text

Kwak, Y, Pearson, J, and Huettel, SA. "Differential reward learning for self and others predicts self-reported altruism." PloS one 9.9 (January 2014): e107621-. Full Text

De Bellis, MD, Wang, L, Bergman, SR, Yaxley, RH, Hooper, SR, and Huettel, SA. "Neural mechanisms of risky decision-making and reward response in adolescent onset cannabis use disorder." Drug Alcohol Depend 133.1 (November 1, 2013): 134-145. Full Text

Ruff, CC, and Huettel, SA. "Experimental Methods in Cognitive Neuroscience." (September 1, 2013): 77-108. (Chapter) Full Text

Winecoff, A, Clithero, JA, Carter, RM, Bergman, SR, Wang, L, and Huettel, SA. "Ventromedial prefrontal cortex encodes emotional value." J Neurosci 33.27 (July 3, 2013): 11032-11039. Full Text


Selected Grants

Neurogenetic Model of Social Behavior Heterogeneity in Autism Spectrum Disorders awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2009 to 2012

Neural Mechanisms for the Construction of Subjective Value and Preferences awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2012

Neurobiological underpinnings of decisions involving social rewards awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2012

From Phenotype to Mechanism: Mapping the Pathways underlying Risky Choice awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2009 to 2011

Frontal Function in Adolescent Cannabis Use Disorders awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2005 to 2011

Functional Neuroimaging of Strategic Retrieval Processes awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co-Principal Investigator). 2006 to 2011

Neural Compensation and Economic Decision Making in Aging awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2007 to 2010

A Linux Cluster Computational Facility for Neuroimaging Research awarded by National Institutes of Health (Major User). 2009 to 2010

High Fidelity fMRI awarded by National Institutes of Health (Co Investigator). 2004 to 2010

Neuroimaging of Executive Processing awarded by National Institutes of Health (Principal Investigator). 2005 to 2009