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

Huettel, SA. "Event-related fMRI in cognition." NeuroImage 62.2 (2012): 1152-1156. Full Text

Kragel, PA, Carter, RM, and Huettel, SA. "What makes a pattern? Matching decoding methods to data in multivariate pattern analysis." Frontiers in Neuroscience NOV (2012). Full Text

Levallois, C, Clithero, JA, Wouters, P, Smidts, A, and Huettel, SA. "Translating upwards: Linking the neural and social sciences via neuroeconomics." Nature Reviews Neuroscience 13.11 (2012): 789-797. Full Text

Yoon, C, Gonzalez, R, Bechara, A, Berns, GS, Dagher, AA, Dubé, L, Huettel, SA, Kable, JW, Liberzon, I, Plassmann, H, Smidts, A, and Spence, C. "Decision neuroscience and consumer decision making." Marketing Letters 23.2 (2012): 473-485. Full Text

Venkatraman, V, and Huettel, SA. "Strategic control in decision-making under uncertainty." European Journal of Neuroscience 35.7 (2012): 1075-1082. Full Text

Clithero, JA, Reeck, C, Mckell Carter, R, Smith, DV, and Huettel, SA. "Nucleus accumbens mediates relative motivation for rewards in the absence of choice." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience AUGUST (August 2011). Full Text

Ballard, IC, Murty, VP, Carter, RM, MacInnes, JJ, Huettel, SA, and Adcock, RA. "Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex drives mesolimbic dopaminergic regions to initiate motivated behavior." J Neurosci 31.28 (July 13, 2011): 10340-10346. Full Text

Stanton, SJ, Mullette-Gillman, OA, McLaurin, RE, Kuhn, CM, LaBar, KS, Platt, ML, and Huettel, SA. "Low- and high-testosterone individuals exhibit decreased aversion to economic risk." Psychol Sci 22.4 (April 2011): 447-453. Full Text