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Wendy Heller

Division: Clinical/Community

Professor of Psychology
Professor of Gender and Women's Studies

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Research Description

My primary focus is on the neurobiological correlates of emotional function, including the neurological and neuropsychological processes involved in mood and emotion regulation, the development of personality and psychopathology, and the interaction of emotional processes with cognition. I am particularly interested in investigating cognition-emotion interactions in psychopathology, particularly in anxiety and depression.Neuropsychological research has demonstrated not only that the cerebral hemispheres are specialized for different cognitive functions but also that they differ in their emotional organization. Areas of the brain that are involved in information processing are thus engaged in a variety of emotional processes, concurrently and in a complementary manner, that may influence or interact with cognition at various stages of the learning or memory process. My research specializes in examining how different aspects of brain organization, including lateralization of function, as well as more specific regions of interest, influence emotional, social, and cognitive functioning.

Education

  • Ph.D. from the University of Chicago

Courses

  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • The autobiography of disability and mental illness

Publications

Journal Articles

  • Sadeh, N, J M. Spielberg, S L. Warren, G A. Miller, and W Heller. "Aberrant neural connectivity during emotional processing associated with posttraumatic stress." Clinical Psychological Science (2014):
  • Kaiser, R H., J R. Andrews-Hanna, J M. Spielberg, S L. Warren, B P. Sutton, G A. Miller, W Heller, and M T. Banich. "Distracted and down: neural mechanisms of affective interference in subclinical depression." Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience (2014):
  • Sass, S M., W Heller, J E. Fisher, R L. Silton, J L. Stewart, L D. Crocker, J C. Edgar, K J. Mimnaugh, and G A. Miller. "Electrophysiological evidence of the time course of attentional bias in nonpatients reporting symptoms of depression with and without co-occurring anxiety." Frontiers in Psychology, Personality Science and Individual Differences (2014):
  • Letkiewicz, A M., G A. Miller, L D. Crocker, S L. Warren, Z P. Infantolino, K J. Mimnaugh, and W Heller. "Executive function deficits in daily life prospectively predict increases in depressive symptoms." Cognitive Therapy and Research (2014):
  • Fisher, J E., G A. Miller, S M. Sass, R L. Silton, J C. Edgar, J L. Stewart, J Zhou, and W Heller. "Neural correlates of suspiciousness and interactions with anxiety during emotional and neutral word processing." Frontiers in Psychology: Personality and Social Psychology 5 (2014): 596.
  • Snyder, H R., R H. Kaiser, S L. Warren, and W Heller. "Obsessive-compulsive disorder is associated with broad impairments in executive function: A meta-analysis." Clinical Psychological Science (2014):
  • Spielberg, J M., A A. De Leon, K Bredemeier, W Heller, A S. Engels, S L. Warren, L D. Crocker, B P. Sutton, and G A. Miller. "Anxiety type modulates immediate vs. delayed engagement of attention-related brain regions." Brain and Behavior 3 (2013): 532-551.
  • Sussman, T J., W Heller, G A. Miller, and A Mohanty. "Emotional distractors can enhance attention." Psychological Science 24 (2013): 2322-2328.
  • Spielberg, J M., W Heller, and G A. Miller. "Hierarchical brain networks active in approach and avoidance goal pursuit." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7 (2013): 284.
  • Crocker, L D., W Heller, S L. Warren, A J. O'Hare, Z P. Infantolino, and G A. Miller. "Relationships among cognition, emotion, and motivation: Implications for intervention and neuroplasticity in psychopathology." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7 (2013): 271.
  • Warren, S L., L D. Crocker, J M. Spielberg, A S. Engels, M T. Banich, B P. Sutton, G A. Miller, and W Heller. "Cortical organization of inhibition-related functions and modulation by psychopathology." Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 7 (2013): 271.
  • Miller, G A., L D. Crocker, J M. Spielberg, Z P. Infantolino, and W Heller. "Issues in localization of brain function: The case of lateralized frontal cortex in cognition, emotion, and psychopathology." Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 3 (2013):
  • Fisher, J E., W Heller, and G A. Miller. "Neuropsychological differentiation of adaptive creativity and schizotypal cognition." Personality and Individual Differences 54 (2013): 70-75.
  • Crocker, L D., W Heller, J M. Spielberg, S L. Warren, K Bredemeier, B P. Sutton, M T. Banich, and G A. Miller. "Neural mechanisms in attentional control differentiate trait and state negative affect." Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience 3 (2012):
  • Spielberg, J M., G A. Miller, S L. Warren, A S. Engels, L D. Crocker, B P. Sutton, and W Heller. "A brain network instantiating approach and avoidance motivation." Psychophysiology 49 (2012): 1200-1214.
  • Spielberg, J M., G A. Miller, S L. Warren, A S. Engels, L D. Crocker, B P. Sutton, and W Heller. "Trait motivation moderates neural activation associated with goal pursuit." Cognitive, Affective and Behavioral Neuroscience 12 (2012): 308-322.
  • Heller, W, and D Mukherjee. "Implications of memory loss for personal and social identity, and a role for mindfulness." American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 4 (2012): 55-56.