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

Winecoff, A, Labar, KS, Madden, DJ, Cabeza, R, and Huettel, SA. "Cognitive and neural contributors to emotion regulation in aging." Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 6.2 (April 2011): 165-176. Full Text

Venkatraman, V, Huettel, SA, Chuah, LYM, Payne, JW, and Chee, MWL. "Sleep deprivation biases the neural mechanisms underlying economic preferences." J Neurosci 31.10 (March 9, 2011): 3712-3718. Full Text

Libedinsky, C, Smith, DV, Teng, CS, Namburi, P, Chen, VW, Huettel, SA, and Chee, MWL. "Sleep deprivation alters valuation signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. (Published online)" Front Behav Neurosci 5 (2011): 70-. Full Text

Yaxley, RH, Van Voorhees, EE, Bergman, S, Hooper, SR, Huettel, SA, and De Bellis, MD. "Behavioral risk elicits selective activation of the executive system in adolescents: clinical implications. (Published online)" Front Psychiatry 2 (2011): 68-. Full Text

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

Paulsen, DJ, Platt, ML, Huettel, SA, and Brannon, EM. "Decision-making under risk in children, adolescents, and young adults. (Published online)" Front Psychol 2 (2011): 72-. Full Text

Paulsen, DJ, Carter, RM, Platt, ML, Huettel, SA, and Brannon, EM. "Neurocognitive development of risk aversion from early childhood to adulthood. (Published online)" Front Hum Neurosci 5 (2011): 178-. 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 (January 1, 2011). Full Text Open Access Copy

Clithero, JA, Smith, DV, Carter, RM, and Huettel, SA. "Within- and cross-participant classifiers reveal different neural coding of information." NeuroImage 56.2 (2011): 699-708. Full Text

Raposo, A, Vicens, L, Clithero, JA, Dobbins, IG, and Huettel, SA. "Contributions of frontopolar cortex to judgments about self, others and relations." Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 6.3 (2011): 260-269. Full Text