Department of Psychology Title OSU Psi Logo

Department Faculty

Dylan Wagner

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

Wagner, D.D., Kelley, W.M., Haxby, J.V., Heatherton, T.F. (2016). The dorsal medial prefrontal cortex responds preferentially to social interactions during natural viewing. Journal of Neuroscience. 36(26): 6917-6925.

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.

Chen, P. A., Wagner, D.D., Kelley, W.M., Heatherton, T.F. (2015). Activity in cortical midline structures is modulated by self-construal changes during acculturation. Culture and Brain. 3(1): 39-52.

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

Powers, K.E., Wagner, D.D., Norris, C.J., Heatherton, T.F. (2013). Socially excluded individuals fail to recruit medial prefrontal cortex for negative social scenes. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. 8(2): 151–7.

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. , 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.

Heatherton, T. F. and Wagner, D. D. (2011). Cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure. Trends Cogn Sci, 15, 132-139.

Selected Chapters

Wagner, D.D. (Forthcoming) The relationship between neural measures of reward sensitivity and self-regulation successes and failures. In de Ridder,Adriaanse & Fujita (Eds.), Handbook of Self-Control in Health and Wellbeing. Routledge.

Wagner, D.D., Heatherton, T.F. (2016) The neural bases of self-regulation and its failures. In K.D. Vohs & R.F. Baumeister (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.


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