The HaxbyLab@Dartmouth

Dylan D. Wagner

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Dylan D. Wagner

Post-doctoral research fellow

Ph.D. in Psychology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH



Address:6207 Moore Hall, Rm 433 Hanover, NH 03755
Phone:(+1)(603) 646-0175

Research focus

My research focuses on the cognitive and neural representation of other people’s personality and mental states. In particular, I am interested in how people spontaneously infer personality traits from minimal social information and in using neuroimaging methods to uncover (i.e. decode) the content of these social inferences.

A seperate line of research consists of characterizing the brain systems involved in self-regulation and its failure. Borrowing techniques from experimental social psychology, we’ve shown that inducing self-regulatory failure by having people regulate in one-domain (e.g. cognitive) subsequently leads to disinhibited neural responses to stimuli in other domains (e.g. emotions, food cravings).

I also maintain a set of tools for fMRI preprocessing, analysis and batching in SPM8 which can be found here (



[LHW+14]Lopez, R. B., Hofmann, W., Wagner, D. D. , Kelley, W. M. and Heatherton, T. F. (2014). Neural predictors of giving in to temptation in daily life.. Psychological Science. cited by: 95
[CWK+13]Chen, P., Wagner, D. , Kelley, W., Powers, K. and Heatherton, T. (2013). Medial prefrontal cortex differentiates self from mother in Chinese: evidence from self-motivated immigrants. Culture and Brain, 1, 1-13. [URL] DOI: 10.1007/s40167-013-0001-5, cited by: 16
[PWN+13]Powers, K. E., Wagner, D. D. , Norris, C. J. and Heatherton, T. F. (2013). Socially excluded individuals fail to recruit medial prefrontal cortex for negative social scenes.. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci, 8, 151-157. [URL] DOI: 10.1093/scan/nsr079
[SWW+12]Somerville, L. H., Wagner, D. D. , Wig, G. S., Moran, J. M., Whalen, P. J. and Kelley, W. M. (2013). Interactions Between Transient and Sustained Neural Signals Support the Generation and Regulation of Anxious Emotion. Cerebral Cortex, 23, 49-60. [URL] DOI: 10.1093/cercor/bhr373, cited by: 112
[WAB+13]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. DOI: doi:10.1177/0956797613492985, cited by: 121
[WH13]Wagner, D. D. and Heatherton, T. F. (2013). Self-regulatory depletion increases emotional reactivity in the amygdala. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, 8, 410-417. DOI: 10.1093/scan/nss082, cited by: 95
[WBK+12]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. [URL], cited by: 59
[WHH12]Wagner, D. D. , Haxby, J. V. and Heatherton, T. F. (2012). The Representation of Self and Person Knowledge in the Medial Prefrontal Cortex. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews:Cognitive Science, 3, 451-470. cited by: 102
[HW11]Heatherton, T. F. and Wagner, D. D. (2011). Cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure.. Trends Cogn Sci, 15, 132-139. [PDF] DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2010.12.005, cited by: 702
[WDS+11]Wagner, D. D. , Cin, S. D., Sargent, J. D., Kelley, W. M. and Heatherton, T. F. (2011). Spontaneous action representation in smokers when watching movie characters smoke. J Neurosci, 31, 894-898. [PDF] DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5174-10.2011, cited by: 79
[WKH11]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. [PDF] DOI: 10.1093/cercor, cited by: 90
[WSG+09]Wagner, D. D. , Sziklas, V., Garver, K. E. and Jones-Gotman, M. (2009). Material-specific lateralization of working memory in the medial temporal lobe.. Neuropsychologia, 47, 112-122. [PDF] DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2008.08.010, cited by: 47
[KSG+07]Kennepohl, S., Sziklas, V., Garver, K. E., Wagner, D. D. and Jones-Gotman, M. (2007). Memory and the medial temporal lobe: hemispheric specialization reconsidered.. Neuroimage, 36, 969-978. [PDF] DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2007.03.049, cited by: 67

Collection Chapters

[LWV+13]Lopez, R. B., Wagner, D. D. , Vohs, K. D. and Heatherton, T. F. (2013). Self-regulatory strength: neural mechanisms and implications for training. In Gendolla, Tops and Koole (Eds.) Biobehavioral Foundations of Self-regulation. (pp. ).
[WH13a]Wagner, D. D. and Heatherton, T. F. (2013). 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 (pp. ), : American Psychological Association.
[WH13b]Wagner, D. D. and Heatherton, T. F. (2013). Emotion and Self-Regulation Failure. In Gross, J. J. (Eds.) Handbook of Emotion Regulation (2nd Edition) (pp. ), : Guilford Press.
[WH13c]Wagner, D. D. and Heatherton, T. F. (2013). Self-Regulation and its Failures. In Gazzaniga and Mangun (Eds.) The Cognitive Neurosciences (5th edition) (pp. ), : The MIT Press.
[WDH11]Wagner, D. D. , Demos, K. E. and Heatherton, T. F. (2011). Staying in control: the cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation and its failure. In Cacioppo, J. T. and Decety, J. (Eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience (pp. ), New York: Oxford.
[WH10]Wagner, D. D. and Heatherton, T. F. (2010). Giving in to temptation: the emerging cognitive neuroscience of self-regulation failure. In Vohs, K. D. and Baumeister, R. F. (Eds.) Handbook of Self-Regulation: Research, Theory, and Applications (pp. 41-63), New York: Guilford Press.
[HKW08]Heatherton, T. F., Krendl, A. C. and Wagner, D. D. (2008). Neurophysiological Approaches to Understanding Behavior. In (Eds.) Human Behavior in a Military Context (pp. 217-238), : The National Academies Press.

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