top of page

National Institute of Mental Health Related Research Domains:


  1. Affiliation and Attachment:

  • Interpersonal Dynamics

  • Neuroscience of Commitment

  • Women's  Health


    2. Perception & Sense of Self      

        in Interpersonal Relationships:​​


  • Self-Other Cognitive Interdependence

  • Attitude similarities

  • Self-Other Expansion


    3. Perception and

      Understanding  of Others:


  • Modulation and Function of the Mirror Neuron System during dyadic formation




                         Dr. Steph Cacioppo, Ph.D. 






Named a "Rising Star" by the Association for Psychological Science, Dr. Steph Cacioppo is the Director of the Brain Dynamics Laboratory at the University of  Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine.

Dr. Steph Cacioppo focuses on the neurobiology of social emotions

and their impact on brain health and human performance.

She has authored more than 120 scientific publications and her work has been featured in several outlets, including the Scientific American, Washington Post, Discover Magazine, The Guardian, National Geographic, and the New York Times.

Understanding how and why the  human mind dynamics vary as a function of how one feels toward (and thinks about) themselves and others may provide critical insights on one’s mental health, well-being, and may better and faster performance. The better is our understanding of positive mindset, the greater is our respect for the significance and potency of their role on physical health.


In her research, Steph integrates theories of self-expansion and embodied cognition with lesion studies, functional neuroimaging, and 4D electrical neuroimaging to investigate brain dynamics of the social self, its cognitive and health benefits. 

She also investigates how and why a specific brain network called the inferior fronto-parietal network, which includes the seminal mirror neuron system (a network that is activated when you move and see others perform a similar action), contributes to: i) speed performance under emotional pressure, ii) emotional well-being, iii) individual and team-building  differences and iv) formation, maintenance, and restoration of lasting salutary connections. 

Screen Shot 2019-10-26 at 2.47.52 PM.png







Stephanie Cacioppo & Karate Baniba. Photo Credit: Mr. Terence Crayton, Physical Education Teacher

Inspiring the Next Generation

Oct 17, 2019

Dr. Steph Cacioppo organized the First Social Neuroscience Fair in South Chicago for more than 500 K12 students. 

In collaboration with the University of Chicago Research Super Computing Center, the Museum of Science and Industry, the Dana Foundation, Noggin, the Society for Social Neuroscience, and the University of Chicago Medicine.


By Rizzolatti et al., 2009

Dr. Steph Cacioppo  also serves as the first female President of the non-profit scientific society for social neuroscience and is assistant professor in psychiatry & behavioral neuroscience at the University of Chicago. Her research program intersects the areas of high-performance medicine, social health, positive psychology, affective science, social & cognitive neuroscience, resilience, statistics, and computing neuroscience.

Heading 3

bottom of page