Dylan received his B.A. in Psychology from McGill University and his Ph.D. in Psychology from Dartmouth College. His research is aimed at understanding how our knowledge of other people (their likes and dislikes, their personalities, their quirks and habits) is organized into a coherent impression and, in turn, how this impression is encoded in the brain. Using a combination of functional neuroimaging, machine learning techniques and popular media (e.g., films, television), research in his laboratory is working towards developing methods to gain access to how individuals think and feel about the people around them.
A separate line of research in his laboratory is involved in understanding the interplay between motivation, self-control and desire in order to identify neural and behavioral predictors of self-regulation failure as well as to identify ways to bolster against everyday temptations.
Selected Journal Articles
Kelley, W.M., Wagner, D.D., Heatherton, T.F. (2015). In search of a human self-regulation system. Annual Review of Neuroscience. 38: 389-411.
Wagner, D. D. , Altman, M., Boswell, R. G., Kelley, W. M. and Heatherton, T. F. (2013). Self-Regulatory Depletion Enhances Neural Responses to Rewards and Impairs Top-Down Control. Psychological Science, 11, 2262-71
Wagner, D.D., Heatherton, T.F. (2013). Self-Regulatory Depletion Increases Emotional Reactivity in the Amygdala. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 8(4): 410–417.
Wagner, D.D., Haxby, J.V., Heatherton, T.F. (2012). The Representation of Self and Person Knowledge in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews:Cognitive Science. 3(4): 451–470.
Wagner, D. D. , Boswell, R. G., Kelley, W. M. and Heatherton, T. F. (2012). Inducing Negative affect increases the reward value of appetizing foods in dieters. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 1625-1633.
Heatherton, T. F. and Wagner, D. D. (2011). Cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure. Trends Cogn Sci, 15, 132-139.
Wagner, D. D. , Kelley, W. M. and Heatherton, T. F. (2011). Individual Differences in the Spontaneous Recruitment of Brain Regions Supporting Mental State Understanding When Viewing Natural Social Scenes. Cereb Cortex, 21, 2788-96.
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(3): 894–898.
Wagner, D.D., Heatherton, T.F. (Forthcoming) The neural bases of self-regulation and its failures. In Baumeister & Vohs (Eds.), Handbook of Self Regulation: Research, theory and applications (3rd edition). New York, N.Y.: Guilford Press.
Wagner, D. D. and Heatherton, T. F. (2014). Self-Regulation and its Failure: Seven Deadly Threats to Self-Regulation. In Borgida, E. and Bargh, J. (Eds.) APA Handbook of Personality and Social Psychology: Volume 1. Attitudes and Social Cognition, American Psychological Association.
Wagner, D.D., Heatherton, T.F. (2014). Self-Regulation and its Failures. In Gazzaniga & Mangun (Eds.), The Cognitive Neurosciences (5th edition). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.