Todd F. Heatherton

Lincoln Filene Professor of Human Relations
Director, Center for Social Brain Sciences
Norris Cotton Cancer Center Investigator


My recent research takes a social brain sciences approach, which combines theories and methods of evolutionary psychology, social cognition, and cognitive neuroscience to examine the neural underpinnings of social behavior. Much of this research examines processes related to self, particular self-regulation, self-esteem, and self-referential processing.

Curriculum Vitae Personal Website
353 Moore
HB 6207
B.Sc. University of Calgary
M.A. University of Toronto
Ph.D. University of Toronto, 1989

Selected publications


Heatherton, T.F. (2011). Neuroscience of Self and Self-Regulation. Annual Review of Psychology, 62, 363-390.

Heatherton, T.F. & Wagner, D.D. (2011). Cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure. Trends in Cognitive Science, 15, 132-139.

Wagner, D.D., Dal Cin, S., Sargent, J.D., Kelley, W.M., & Heatherton, T.F. (2011). Spontaneous action representation in smokers when watching movie characters smoke. Journal of Neuroscience, 31, 894-898.

Demos, K.D., Heatherton, T.F., & Kelley, W.M. (2012). Individual differences in nucleus accumbens activity to food and sexual images predict weight gain and sexual behavior. Journal of Neuroscience, 32, 5549-5552.

Powers, K.E., Somerville, L. H., Kelley, W.M., & Heatherton, T.F. (2013). Rejection sensitivity polarizes striatal-medial prefrontal activity when anticipating social feedback. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25, 1887-1895.

Wagner, D.D., Altman, M., Boswell, R.G., Kelley, W.M., & Heatherton, T.F. (2013). Self-regulatory depletion enhances neural responses to rewards and impairs top-down control. Psychological Science, 24, 2262-2271.

Lopez, R.B., Hofmann, W., Wagner, D.D., Kelley, W.M., & Heatherton, T.F. (2014).  Neural predictors of giving in to temptation in daily life.  Psychological Science, 25, 1337-44

Chavez, R.S. & Heatherton, T.F. (2015).  Representational similarity of social and valence information in the medial prefrontal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 27, 73-82.

Works in progress

“Effects of Social Context on the Neural Correlates of Cue Reactivity”

“Neural Correlates of Social Rejection and Social Memory”

“Medial Prefrontal Activity and Self-Referential Processing”

Selected works and activities

BOOK: Heatherton, T.F. & Weinberger, J.L. (Eds.). (1994). Can Personality Change? Washington, D.C. American Psychological Association. (paperback 1998).

BOOK: Baumeister, R.F., Heatherton, T.F., & Tice, D. (1994). Losing Control: How and Why People Fail at Self- Regulation. San Diego: Academic Press.

BOOK: Heatherton, T.F., Kleck, R.E., Hebl, M. & Hull, J.G. (Eds). (2000). The Social Psychology of Stigma. Guilford Press. (paperback, 2003)

BOOK: Grison, S., Heatherton, T.F. & Gazzaniga, M.S. (2015). Psychology in Your Life. W.W. Norton.

BOOK: Gazzaniga, M.S. Heatherton, T.F. & Halpern, D. (2016). Psychological Sciences: Mind, Brain, and Behavior. W.W. Norton. (5th edition).