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

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

Morey, RA, Selgrade, ES, Wagner, HR, Huettel, SA, Wang, L, and McCarthy, G. "Scan-rescan reliability of subcortical brain volumes derived from automated segmentation." Hum Brain Mapp 31.11 (November 2010): 1751-1762. Full Text Open Access Copy

Henninger, DE, Madden, DJ, and Huettel, SA. "Processing speed and memory mediate age-related differences in decision making." Psychol Aging 25.2 (June 2010): 262-270. Full Text

Han, S, Huettel, SA, Raposo, A, Adcock, RA, and Dobbins, IG. "Functional significance of striatal responses during episodic decisions: recovery or goal attainment?." J Neurosci 30.13 (March 31, 2010): 4767-4775. Full Text

Smith, DV, Hayden, BY, Truong, T-K, Song, AW, Platt, ML, and Huettel, SA. "Distinct value signals in anterior and posterior ventromedial prefrontal cortex." J Neurosci 30.7 (February 17, 2010): 2490-2495. Full Text

Henninger, DE, Madden, D, and Huettel, SA. "Age-Related Cognitive Decline Predicts Changes in Risk Preference." Psychology and Aging 25.2 (2010): 262-270. (Academic Article)

Smith, DV, and Huettel, SA. "Decision neuroscience: Neuroeconomics." Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science 1.6 (2010): 854-871. Full Text

Carter, RM, Meyer, JR, and Huettel, SA. "Functional Neuroimaging of Intertemporal Choice Models: A Review." Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics 3.1 (2010): 27-45. Full Text