Wendy Heller

Profile picture for Wendy Heller

Contact Information

715 Psychology Bldg.
603 E. Daniel Street
M/C 716
Champaign, IL 61820


Research Interests

Wendy Heller is Professor of Psychology in the Clinical/Community Division, former Director of Clinical Training and Department Head in the Psychology Department, and a part-time Beckman Institute faculty member in the Cognitive Neuroscience Group. As of 2014 she was appointed Provost Fellow with a special focus on campus diversity. She holds a B.A. in Spanish and Psychology with Honors from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Biopsychology from the University of Chicago. Her research investigates the neural mechanisms associated with emotion-cognition interactions and their implications for psychopathology. She is particularly interested in examining cognitive and emotional risk factors associated with the development or maintenance of anxiety and depression. She uses behavioral and neuroimaging methods such as neuropsychological task performance, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), and event-related potentials (ERPs).  She draws on psychological theories to model how fundamental emotion and personality constructs can be mapped onto brain systems to clarify the neural mechanisms of emotion and psychopathology. In turn, the neuropsychological  and neuroimaging findings are used to inform psychological theories of emotion and psychopathology. Her work has been funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).


Ph.D. from the University of Chicago

Awards and Honors

Larine Y. Cowan Make a Difference Award for remarkable leadership and commitment to diversity at Illinois

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Gender and Women's Studies
Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Professor, Carle Illinois College of Medicine

Recent Publications

Bartholomew, M. E., Heller, W., & Miller, G. A. (2019). Inhibitory control of emotional processing: Theoretical and empirical considerations. International Journal of Psychophysiology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2019.03.015

Bartholomew, M. E., Yee, C. M., Heller, W., Miller, G. A., & Spielberg, J. M. (2019). Reconfiguration of brain networks supporting inhibition of emotional challenge. NeuroImage, 186, 350-357. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuroimage.2018.10.066

Lake, J. I., Spielberg, J. M., Infantolino, Z. P., Crocker, L. D., Yee, C. M., Heller, W., & Miller, G. A. (2019). Reward anticipation and punishment anticipation are instantiated in the brain via opponent mechanisms. Psychophysiology, 56(8), [e13381]. https://doi.org/10.1111/psyp.13381

Madian, N., Bredemeier, K., Heller, W., Miller, G. A., & Warren, S. L. (2019). Repetitive Negative Thought and Executive Dysfunction: An Interactive Pathway to Emotional Distress. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 43(2), 464-480. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10608-018-9966-x

Sharp, P. B., Heller, W., & Telzer, E. H. (2019). Selective neural sensitivity to familial threat in adolescents with weak family bonds. Social Neuroscience, 14(1), 80-89. https://doi.org/10.1080/17470919.2017.1397545

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