Scott Huettel

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

Libedinsky, Camilo, et al. “Sleep deprivation alters valuation signals in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, vol. 5, Jan. 2011, p. 70. Epmc, doi:10.3389/fnbeh.2011.00070. Full Text

Clithero, John A., et al. “Nucleus accumbens mediates relative motivation for rewards in the absence of choice.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 5, Jan. 2011, p. 87. Epmc, doi:10.3389/fnhum.2011.00087. Full Text Open Access Copy

Yaxley, Richard H., et al. “Behavioral risk elicits selective activation of the executive system in adolescents: clinical implications.Front Psychiatry, vol. 2, 2011, p. 68. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2011.00068. Full Text

Paulsen, David J., et al. “Decision-making under risk in children, adolescents, and young adults.Front Psychol, vol. 2, 2011, p. 72. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00072. Full Text

Paulsen, David J., et al. “Neurocognitive development of risk aversion from early childhood to adulthood.Front Hum Neurosci, vol. 5, 2011, p. 178. Pubmed, doi:10.3389/fnhum.2011.00178. Full Text

Huettel, S. A. Functional MRI (fMRI). Dec. 2010, pp. 741–48. Scopus, doi:10.1016/B978-0-12-374413-5.00053-1. Full Text

Smith, David V., and Scott A. Huettel. “Decision neuroscience: neuroeconomics.Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews. Cognitive Science, vol. 1, no. 6, Nov. 2010, pp. 854–71. Epmc, doi:10.1002/wcs.73. Full Text

Morey, Rajendra A., et al. “Scan-rescan reliability of subcortical brain volumes derived from automated segmentation.Hum Brain Mapp, vol. 31, no. 11, Nov. 2010, pp. 1751–62. Pubmed, doi:10.1002/hbm.20973. Full Text Open Access Copy

Henninger, Debra E., et al. “Processing speed and memory mediate age-related differences in decision making.Psychol Aging, vol. 25, no. 2, June 2010, pp. 262–70. Pubmed, doi:10.1037/a0019096. Full Text

Carter, R. M. K., et al. “Functional Neuroimaging of Intertemporal Choice Models: A Review.” Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, vol. 3, no. 1, May 2010, pp. 27–45. Scopus, doi:10.1037/a0018046. Full Text