Faculty Profiles

William Struthers faculty photo

William Struthers, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology

On Faculty since 1999
BGH M238


Dr. Struthers' lab research interests are in the neural mechanisms that underlie behavioral arousal and the processing of novel environments. His research employs the use of stereotaxic surgery, immunochemistry, and behavioral manipulations to investigate gene expression in the cingulate cortex and basal ganglia. His human research employs the use of functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy to study executive functioning in the prefrontal lobe. He has spoken at the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion on faith and neuroscience, and the uses and abuses of neuroscience research in society. Dr. Struthers is a Fellow of the International Society for Science and Religion.

The University of Illinois at Chicago
Ph.D., Biopsychology

The University of Illinois at Chicago
M.A., Biopsychology

Illinois Wesleyan University
B.A., Psychology

  • Neuroscience
  • Psychology
  • Science and Religion/Faith in Dialogue
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Pornography Addiction/Compulsivity
  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Faculty for Undergraduate Neuroscience
  • Association for Psychological Science
  • International Society for Science and Religion (Fellow)

Beauty of Art and Sacraments as Response to Culture of Pornography
Today's Catholic News

William Struthers, professor of psychology at Wheaton College, next shared how viewing sexually explicit material (SEM) influences the thoughts and behaviors of men. Through his neurological research he found that “men who are often exposed to SEM become less interested in real women because they have access to a controlled environment to engage their sexual desires without having to deal with the reality or messiness of a real relationship.” He also shared that “when viewing SEM, men neurologically trigger the function of vicariously engaging in the behaviors and feelings of what the performers are experiencing...

From Marijuana to Magic Mushrooms: Weighing Drugs’ Benefits and Detriments
Christianity Today
No one would suggest we study the Bible while on drugs. But each week, many Christians go to church, go to small group, or have quiet time with the Bible in one hand and a stimulant in the other. We are not afraid to admit that coffee enhances our lives—yet the key ingredient in coffee that does the enhancing is a drug, caffeine.
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A Psychedelic Future? Q Culture Summit, Apr 28, Nashville, TN. Struthers, William M. (2021).

Neuroscience, Religion and Cultural Authority. Christian Neuroscience Society, Oct 21, Chicago, IL. Struthers, William M. (2019).

The Return of Pharmaco-Spirituality: From the 1960s to the 2020s. The International Society of Science and Religion Conference on Religion, Evolution and Social Bonding. Eynsham Hall, July 22, Oxford, UK. Struthers, William M. (2019).

Neuropsychological Assessment in Multicultural Children: A Domestic and International Review. American Academy of Pediatric Neuropsychology Annual Conference, Apr 21, Las Vegas, NV. Kent, Tiana A.; Struthers, William; Pyykkonen, Benjamin; and Langenderfer, Amy. (2017).

Effects of Enriched Housing on the Expression of Novelty-Shuttling Induced Fos-Like Immunoreactivity in the Cingulate Cortex and Basal Ganglia. Society for Neuroscience 46th Annual Meeting, Struthers, W.M.; Medrano, S.P; Ansell, K.; Wu, L. - Chicago, IL (2015).

Behavioral and ERP responses to emotionally evocative images among high and low trait anger college age men. Society for Neuroscience 46th Annual Meeting, Ross, K.; Addleman, D.; Early, A.; Reyes, C.; Baker, S.; O’Hora, H.; Phinney, R.; Struthers, W.; Whitney, H.; and Thom, N. - Chicago, IL (2015).

  • First Year Seminar: Soul, Mind or Brain?
  • Advanced Integrative Seminar: Drugs, Religion and Society
  • Foundations of Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience Research Techniques
  • Special Topics in Neuroscience
  • Neuroscience Capstone
  • Introduction to Psychopharmacology
  • Men and Addiction
  • History and Systems of Psychology (Graduate Program)
  • Psychopharmacology (Graduate Program)

Dr. Struthers' animal lab research is on the effects of environmental enrichment on neural responses to novelty challenges. His clinical research utilizes fNIRS to examine executive functioning in the human prefrontal cortex, and compulsive sexuality and pornography use. In addition to this empirical work, Dr. Struthers' theoretical research interests are in the areas of neuroethics, the biological bases of spirituality and personhood, and science/faith dialogue issues.

Hasan, Kazi, Struthers, William, Sankarabhotlan, Aditya, and Davis, Patrick. (2022).  Safety, Effectiveness and Tolerability of Sublingual Ketamine in Depression and Anxiety: A Retrospective Study of Off-Label, At-Home Use. Frontiers in Psychiatry – Psychopharmacology. Special Issue on Ketamine, 28 September. 

Struthers, William M. (2022).  Sex Addiction: Circuits, Synapses, and Synapses.  Reclaiming Sexual Wholeness. Ed. Bowman, Todd. Zondervan: Grand Rapids, MI.

Struthers, William M. and Mulhauser, Kyler. (2020).  The Effects of Pornography on Men: A Neurological Perspective.  Seeing with the Eyes of the Heart: Cultivating a Sacramental Imagination in an Age of Pornography. Ed. Groppe, Elizabeth. Catholic University Press of America: Washington, DC.

Struthers, William M. (2019). Neuropharmacoformation: Christian Faithfulness in an Age of Stupefaction.  The Art and Science of Spiritual Formation. Eds. Hiestand, Gerald and Wilson, Todd. InterVarsity Press: Downers Grove, IL.

Dr. Struthers' animal lab research is on the effects of environmental enrichment on neural responses to novelty challenges. His human research in psychology involves the use of fNIRS to examine executive functioning in the prefrontal cortex. Most recently, his theoretical research is in the area of psychopharmacology and religion dialogue.