NOTE: This page is not updated as often as the main publications page. Last update was in 2008.

My research program covers four inter-related areas, all of which involve relating behavior with measures of brain function. Work on placebo effects concerns how expectancies and related cognitive processes regulate pain and emotion. Work on pain and emotion investigates the brain systems that give rise to affective processes. Studies on cognitive control processes investigate the neural systems that govern attention and memory, which are thought to be deployed in the service of placebo effects and related emotion regulatory functions. Work on functional neuroimaging methods develops new procedures for experimental design and analysis of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies, and supports new discoveries in the other research areas that would not be possible with current conventional analytic approaches.

Click here for a chronological list with downloadable PDFs.

 >  Placebo effects

Placebo effects


1. Wager, T. D., Rilling, J., Smith, E. E., Sokolik, A., Casey, K., Kosslyn, S. M., Davidson, R.J., Rose, R. M., Cohen, J. D. (2004). Placebo-induced changes in fMRI in the anticipation and experience of pain. Science, 303, 1162-1167.

2. Wager, T. D. (2005). The neural bases of placebo effects in anticipation and pain. Seminars in Pain Medicine, 3(1), 22-30.

3. Wager, T. D. (2005). The neural bases of placebo effects. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14(4), 175-179.

4. Benedetti, F., Mayberg, H. S., Wager, T. D., Stohler, C. S., Zubieta, J. K. (2005). Neurobiological Mechanisms of the Placebo Effect. Journal of Neuroscience, 25(45), 10390-10402.

5. Wager, T. D., Matre, D., Casey, K. L. (2006). Placebo effects in laser-evoked pain potentials. Brain, Behavior, and Immunology, 20(3), 219-230.

6. Wager, T. D., Scott, D. J., & Zubieta, J. K. (2007). Placebo effects on human mu-opioid activity during pain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104, 11056-11061.

7. Lane, R., Waldstein, S.R., Critchley, H.D., Derbyshire, S., Drossman, D., Wager, T.D., Schneiderman, N., Chesney, M., Jennings, J.R., Lovallo, W., et al. (in press). The rebirth of neuroscience in psychosomatic medicine, part II: Clinical applications and implications for research. Psychsomatic Medicine.

Chapters and commentaries

8. Wager, T. (2004). Painful deception - Response. Science, 304, 1110-1111.

9. Wager, T.D. & Nitschke, J. B. (2005). Placebo effects in the brain: Linking mental and physiological processes. Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 19, 281-282.

10. Wager, T. D. (2005). Expectations and anxiety as mediators of placebo effects in pain. Pain, 115(3), 225-226.

11. Atlas, Y., Wager. T. D. (in press). Placebo effects. In: Encyclopedia of consciousness

12. Atlas, Y., Wager. T. D., Dahl, K., and Smith, E. E. (in press). Placebo effects. In: Handbook of Neuroscience for the Behavioral Sciences

13. Atlas, Y., Wager. T. D. (in press). The neural bases of placebo effects. In: Imagination and Medicine.

 >  Pain and emotion


1. Phan, K. L., Wager, T. D., Taylor, S. F., & Liberzon, I. (2002). Functional Neuroanatomy of Emotion: A Meta-Analysis of Emotion Activation Studies in PET and fMRI. Neuroimage, 16, 331-348.

2. Wager, T. D., Phan, K. L., Liberzon, I., & Taylor, S. F. (2003). Valence, gender, and lateralization of functional brain anatomy in emotion: A meta-analysis of findings from neuroimaging. Neuroimage, 19, 513-531.

3. Phan, K. L., Wager, T. D., Taylor, S. F., & Liberzon, I. (2004). Functional neuroimaging studies of human emotions. CNS Spectrums, 9(4), 258-266.

4. Keller, M. C., Fredrickson, B. L., Ybarra, O., Cote, S., Johnson, K., Mikels, J., and Wager, T. (2005). A warm heart and a clear head: The contingent effects of weather on human mood and cognition. Psychological Science, 16(9): 724-731.

5. Feldmann-Barrett, L. & Wager, T. D. (2006). The structure of emotion: Evidence from neuroimaging studies. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 15(2), 79-83.

6. Zaki, J., Ochsner, K. N., Hanelin, J., Wager, T. D., & Mackey, S. C. (2007). Different circuits for different pain: Patterns of functional connectivity reveal distinct networks for processing pain in self and others. Social Neuroscience, 2, 276 - 291.

7. Etkin, A., & Wager, T. D. (2007). Functional neuroimaging of anxiety: a meta-analysis of emotional processing in PTSD, social anxiety disorder, and specific phobia. American Journal of Psychiatry (164), 1476-1488.

8. Kober, H., Barrett, L. F., Joseph, J., Bliss-Moreau, E., Lindquist, K., & Wager, T. D. (in press). Functional grouping and cortical-subcortical interactions in emotion: A meta-analysis of neuroimaging studies. Neuroimage.

9. Waugh, C., Wager, T. D., Fredrickson, B. L., Noll, D. C. & Taylor, S. F. (2008). The neural correlates of trait resilience when anticipating and recovering from threat. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.

10. Wager, T. D., Hughes, B., Davidson, M., Lindquist, M. L., & Ochsner, K. N. (2008). Prefrontal-subcortical pathways mediating successful emotion regulation. Neuron, 59, 1037-1050.

Chapters and commentaries

11. Wager, T. D., & Feldman Barrett, L. (2004). From affect to control: Functional specialization of the insula in motivation and regulation. Published online at PsycExtra:

12. Wager, T. D., & Ochsner, K. N. (2005). Sex differences in the emotional brain. Neuroreport. 16(2), 85-87.

13. Wager, T. D., Barrett, L. F., Bliss-Moreau, E., Lindquist, K., Duncan, S., Kober, H., et al. (in press). The Neuroimaging of Emotion. In M. Lewis (Ed.), Handbook of Emotion.

14. Buhle, J., Wager, T. D., & Smith, E. E. (2010). Using the Stroop Task to study emotion regulation. In: Hassin, R. R., Oschner, K. N., Trope, T. (Eds.), Self Control in Society, Mind, and Brain.

 >  Cognitive control processes


1. Miyake, A., Friedman, N. P., Emerson, M. J., Witzki, A. H., Howerter, A., & Wager, T.D. (2000). Fractionating the Central Executive: Evidence for Separability of Executive Functions. Cognitive Psychology, 41, 49-100.

2. Sylvester, C.-Y. C., Wager, T. D., Lacey, S. C., Jonides, J., Smith, E. E., Hernandez, L., & Nichols, T. E. (2003). Switching attention and resolving interference: fMRI measures of executive functions. Neuropsychologia, 41, 357-370.

3. Wager, T. D. & Smith, E. E. (2003). Neuroimaging and working memory: A meta-analysis. Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience, 3, 255-274.

4. Taylor, S. F., Welsh, R. C., Wager, T. D., Phan, K. L., Fitzgerald, K. D., & Gehring, W. J. (2004). A functional neuroimaging study of motivation and executive function. Neuroimage, 21(3), 1045-1054.

5. Wager, T. D., Reading, S., & Jonides, J. (2004). Neuroimaging studies of shifting attention: a meta-analysis. Neuroimage, 22(4), 1679-1693.

6. Wager, T. D., Sylvester, C. Y., Lacey, S. C., Nee, D. E., Franklin, M., & Jonides, J. (2005). Common and unique components of response inhibition revealed by fMRI. Neuroimage, 27(2), 323-340.

7. Wager, T. D., Jonides, J., Smith, E. E., & Nichols, T. E. (2005). Towards a taxonomy of attention-shifting: Individual differences in fMRI during multiple shift types. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci, 5(2), 127-143.

8. Wager, T. D., Jonides, J., Smith, E. E. (2006). Individual differences in multiple types of shifting attention. Memory & Cognition, 34(8), 1730-1743.

9. Summerfield, C., Greene, M., Wager, T., Egner, T., Hirsch, J., & Mangels, J. (2006). Neocortical connectivity during episodic memory formation. PLoS Biol, 4(5), e128.

10. Nee, D. E., Wager, T. D., & Jonides, J. (2007). Interference resolution: Insights from a meta-analysis of neuroimaging tasks. Cogn Affect Behav Neurosci, 7(1), 1-17.

11. Stern, E. R., Wager, T. D., Egner, T., Hirsch, J., & Mangels, J. (2007). Preparatory neural activity predicts performance on a conflict task. Brain Research, 1176, 92-102.

Chapters and commentaries

12. Jonides, J., Wager, T.D., & Badre, D.T. (2002). Neuroimaging Studies of Memory. In Encyclopedia of the Human Brain. San Diego: Academic Press.

13. Jonides, J., Sylvester, C.-Y. C., Lacey, S .C., Wager, T. D., Nichols, T.E. and Awh, E. (2003). Modules of Working Memory. In R. H. Kluwe, G. Luer, and F. Rosler (Eds.) Principles of Working Memory. Cambridge, MA: Birkhauser Publishing Ltd. pp. 113-134.

14. van Snellenberg, J.X. and T.D. Wager, Cognitive and Motivational Functions of the Human Prefrontal Cortex, in A tribute to Alexander Luria, E. Goldberg and D. Bougakov, Editors. in press.

 >  Functional neuroimaging methods


1. Wager, T. D. & Nichols, T. E. (2003) Optimization of Experimental Design in fMRI: A General Framework Using a Genetic Algorithm. Neuroimage, 18, 293-309.

2. Nichols, T., Brett, M., Andersson, J., Wager, T., & Poline, J. B. (2005). Valid conjunction inference with the minimum statistic. Neuroimage, 25(3), 653-660.

3. Wager, T. D., Keller, M. C., Lacey, S. C., & Jonides, J. (2005). Increased sensitivity in neuroimaging analyses using robust regression. Neuroimage, 26(1), 99-113.

4. Wager, T. D., Vazquez, A., Hernandez, L., & Noll, D. C. (2005). Accounting for nonlinear BOLD effects in fMRI: parameter estimates and a model for prediction in rapid event-related studies. Neuroimage, 25(1), 206-218.

5. Lindquist, M. A., Waugh, C., & Wager, T. D. (2007). Modeling state-related fMRI activity using change-point theory. NeuroImage, 35(3), 1125-1141.

6. Wager, T. D., Lindquist, M., & Kaplan, L. (2007). Meta-analysis of functional neuroimaging data: Current and future directions. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience, 2(2), 150-158.

7. Lindquist, M. and Wager, T. D. (2007). Validity and Power in Hemodynamic Response Modeling: A comparison study and a new approach. Human Brain Mapping, 28, 764-784.

8. Lindquist, M., & Wager, T. D. (in press). Spatial Smoothing in fMRI using Prolate Spheroidal Wave Functions. Human Brain Mapping.

9. Purkayastha, S., Wager, T. D., & Nichols, T. E. (in press). Inferring individual differences in fMRI: Finding brain regions with significant within subject correlation. Statistica Sinica.

10. Loh, J.M., Lindquist, M.A., Wager, T.D. (in press). Residual Analysis for Detecting Mis-modeling in fMRI. Statistica Sinica.

11. Grinband, J., Wager, T.D., Lindquist, M.A., Ferrera, V., and Hirsch, J. (in press). Detection of time-varying signals in event-related fMRI designs. Neuroimage.

12. Lindquist, M.A., Loh, J.M., Atlas, L.Y., and Wager, T.D. (in press). Modeling the hemodynamic response function in fMRI: Efficiency, bias and mis-modeling. Neuroimage.

13. Wager, T.D., Lindquist, M.A., Nichols, T.E., Kober, H., and van Snellenberg, J.X. (in press). Evaluating the consistency and specificity of neuroimaging data using meta-analysis. Neuroimage.

Chapters and commentaries

14. Hernandez, L., Wager, T.D., & Jonides, J. (2002). Introduction to Functional Brain Imaging. In John Wixted and Hal Pashler (Eds.), Stevens Handbook of Experimental Psychology, Third Edition, Volume 4: Methodology in Experimental Psychology. New York: John Wiley and Sons, Inc. pp. 175-221.

15. Wager, T.D. (2006). Do We Need to Study the Brain to Understand the Mind? APS Observer, 19(9), 25-27.

16. Wager, T. D., Hernandez, L., Jonides, J., & Lindquist, M. (2007). Elements of functional neuroimaging. In J. T. Cacioppo, L. G. Tassinary & G. G. Berntson (Eds.), Handbook of Psychophysiology (4th ed., pp. 19-55). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

17. Lindquist, M. and Wager, T. D. (in press). Application of change-point theory to modeling state-related activity in fMRI. In Applied Data Analytic Techniques for "Turning Points Research".

18. Wager. T. D., Lindquist, M., and Hernandez, L. (in press). Essentials of functional neuroimaging. In: Handbook of Neuroscience for the Behavioral Sciences