Aaron Heller

Asst. Professor

(305) 284-9498
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Current Interests

Dr. Heller is a clinical psychologist and affective neuroscientist. His work integrates neuroimaging, and real-time mobile health (mHealth) methods to track emotion and behavior in humans to better understand the bio-behavioral mechanisms that give rise to the development of depression and anxiety. His work uses computational and data-driven analytic approaches with big-data to identify when ‘state shifts’ occur. Using these methods, his work attempts to identify when state shifts occur in a person’s behavior (using mHealth data), or brain activity (using functional MRI), what are the circumstances that lead to the state shift, and how these state shifts impact well-being.


2013Ph.D. Clinical Psychology University of Wisconsin - Madison
2003B.A. Psychology University of California, Berkeley

Professional Experience

2013 - 2015Postdoctoral Associate of Psychology in Psychiatry, Weill Cornell Medical College
2012 - 2013Predoctoral psychology intern, Weill-Cornell Medical College/New York Presbyterian Hospital


Dr. Aaron Heller and the MANATEE (Miami Affective Neuroscience and Translational Enterprise) Lab aim to understand the temporal dynamics of positive emotion in healthy individuals and individuals with mood disorders.

Job Openings

Volunteer Research Assistants - We are accepting applicants for volunteer research assistants who would like to be involved in the research being performed in the lab. Please email Dr. Heller if you are interested.

Graduate Students - My lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Miami will be accepting graduate students for the Fall of 2019. If you are interested in the kinds of work we do, please do not hesitate to write me an email and apply to the program.


Representative Publications

Heller AS, Ezie CEC, Otto AR, Timpano KR (2018). Goal-Directed Decision Making and Negative Affect: The Moderating Role of Stress. Behavior Research & Therapy

Heller AS, Fox AS, Davidson RJ (2018) Parsing Affective Dynamics to Identify Risk for Mood and Anxiety Disorders. Emotion. Jun 4. doi: 10.1037/emo0000440.

Heller AS (2016). Rethinking strategies for when to acquire neural markers associated with treatment response. Molecular Psychiatry 21(12):1655-1656. doi: 10.1038/mp.2016.176.

Heller AS (2016). Cortical-Subcortical Interactions in Depression. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience. 10:1-20. doi: 10.3389/fnsys.2016.00020

Heller AS & Casey BJ (2016). The Neurodynamics of emotion: Delineating typical and atypical emotional processes during adolescence. Developmental Science. 19(1):3-18. doi: 10.1111/desc.12373

Heller AS, Fox AS, Wing EK, McQuisition KM, Vack NJ, Davidson RJ (2015). The Neurodynamics of Affect in the Laboratory Predicts Persistence of Real-World Emotional Responses. Journal of Neuroscience 35(29):10503-10509.

LIST OF SPECIALTIES: Temporal dynamics of positive emotion in depressed and healthy individuals