Stephanie Cacioppo, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience,
Biological Sciences Collegiate Division Committee on Computational Neuroscience,
Biological Sciences Collegiate Division Committee on Neurobiology,
Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago

5841 South Maryland Avenue, B-351
Chicago, Illinois 60637
Tel# (773) 702-6983

Lab Website:

Education & Training

Ph. D. (Psychology), University Medical School of Geneva (Switzerland) & University of Savoy (France), 2004

General Scholar Impact Analysis (Based on Google Scholar, retrieved on 3-26-19): H-index: 38 Number of Citations: 5754

Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo focuses on the neurobiology of the social self.


To address this question, Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo 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 the: i) rapid formation, ii) maintenance and iii) restoration of lasting salutary connections with other brains. 

According to Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo, human social connectedness has a function — not only to bond with people emotionally but also to improve our cognition and behavior, and indirectly our mental, physical and brain health.

Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo 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. Understanding how and why the deeply rooted brain 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 and well-being, and may promote the development of interventions for neuropsychiatric and neurologic patients with interpersonal disorders. The better is our understanding of successful social connections, the greater is our respect for the significance and potency of their role in mental and physical health.

Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo’s ultimate goal is to identify biomarkers of successful social relationships and develop clinical intervention and neuropharmacological treatments to heal or cure fractures and diseases of one’s broken social self.

Honors & Awards

  • 2019 Elected member of the 2019 BSD Faculty Advisory Committee (FAC), Basic Biological Research, Biological Science Division, Pritzker School of Medicine.
  • 2018 Elected First Female President of the Society for Social Neuroscience
  • 2017 Elected Board of Director of the Society for Social Neuroscience (S4SN)
  • 2017 Elected Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) Fellow
  • 2017 Donald G. York faculty Engagement Award
  • 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Award for her project on Health Disparities in Sexual Minorities
  • 2016 Harrington Distinguished Visiting Professor
  • 2015 Elected Executive Councilor for the Chicago Society for Neuroscience
  • 2015 FACCTS (France and Chicago Collaborating in the Sciences) Award for the project "Dynamic Spatiotemporal Brian Analyses using High Performance Electrical NeuroImaging"
  • 2015 Univeristy of Chicago in Hong-Kong for the proposal "Inaugural Lecture Series on Social Neuroscience"
  • 2014 APS Fellow
  • 2011 Rising Star, Association for Psychological Science
  • ESSM Award of Excellence
  • 2010 Tom Slick's Award, Mind Science Foundation
  • 2007 Best Meeting Oral Presentation (pre-clinical and clinical) Award, 10th ESSM congress
  • 2007 Senior Award, Maurice Chalumeau Foundation
  • 2004 Best Clinical Case Award, Annual Swiss Society for Neuroscience
  • 2002 Volker Henn Award, Annual Swiss Society for Neuroscience 

Current Clinical Trials:

Research Interests

  • Social Cognition & Mirror Neuron System
  • Affiliation, Attachment, & Woman's Health
  • Interactive Self, Intention Understanding, and Self-Other Interdependence
  • Electrical Neuroimaging and Speed of the Social Brain
  • Self-Dissociation, Social Alienation, and Other Disorders of the Social Brain
  • Methods in Neuroimaging and Cognitive and Social Neuroscience 


  • Instructor, From Social Neuroscience to Medical Neuroscience and Back (BIOS 14115), Spring 2015-
  • Co-Instructor, The Affect System (BPRO 23800), Spring 2014

Selected Publications (From Over 120 Scientific Publications) organized by research domains.

Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo’s four main research domains are: I. Affiliation, Attachment, & Woman’s Health II. Interactive Self, Mirror Neuron System, and Self-Other Cognitive Interdependence III. Electrical Neuroimaging and Speed of the Social Brain IV. Self-Dissociation and Social Alienation

Affiliation, Attachment, & Woman’s Health:

  • Cacioppo, S., Bolmont, M., & Monteleone, G. (2017). Spatio-temporal dynamics of the mirror neuron system during social intentions. Social Neuroscience.
  • Cacioppo, S. (2017). Neuro-imaging of Female Sexual Desire and Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. Sexual Medicine Reviews, 5(4):434-444. doi: 10.1016/j.sxmr.2017.07.006
  • Cacioppo, S. (2017). Neuroscience of Salutary Close Relationships. In A. L. Vangelisti, & D. Perlman (Eds.), Handbook of Personal Relationships, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cacioppo, S. (2016). Neural markers of interpersonal attraction: A possible new direction for couple’s therapy. Emotion Researcher. International Society for Research on Emotion’s book for Research on Emotion & Affect. Andrea Scarantino (Ed).
  • Bolmont M, Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S. (2014) Love is in the gaze: an eye-tracking study of love and sexual desire. Psychological Science, 25(9):1748-56. doi: 10.1177/0956797614539706.
  • Cacioppo, S., & Hatfield, E. (2013). From desire to love: New advances from social neuroscience. In L. Bormans (Eds). “The World Book of Love" (pp. 116-119). Tielt, Belgium: Lannoo Publishers.
  • Cacioppo S, Bianchi-Demicheli F, Frum C, Pfaus JG, Lewis JW. (2012). The common neural bases between sexual desire and love: a multilevel kernel density fMRI analysis. Journal of Sexual Medicine 2012 Apr;9(4):1048-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2012.02651.x.
  • Cacioppo, S., Bianchi-Demicheli, F., Hatfield, E., & Rapson, R.L. (2012). Social Neuroscience of love, Clinical NeuroPsychiatry, 9, 3-13.
  • Cacioppo, S., & Cacioppo, J.T. (2013). Lust for life. Nature Scientific American Mind, November/December issue, 56-60.
  • Ortigue, S., & Bianchi-Demicheli, F. (2010). [Unconscious sexual desire: fMRI and EEG evidence from self-expansion theory to mirror neurons]. Revue Médicale Suisse, 6, 620- 622, 624.
  • Ortigue, S., & Bianchi-Demicheli, F. (2008). The chronoarchitecture of human sexual desire: a high-density electrical mapping study. NeuroImage, 43, 337-345. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2008.07.059.
  • Cacioppo, J. T., & Cacioppo, S. (2014). Social relationships and health:  The toxic effects of perceived social isolation. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8, 58- 72. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12087.
  • Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S, Gonzaga GC, Ogburn EL, VanderWeele TJ. (2013). Marital satisfaction and break-ups differ across on-line and off-line meeting venues. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 Jun 18;110(25):10135-40. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1222447110. Epub 2013 Jun 3. PubMed PMID: 23733955; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3690854.
  • Bianchi-Demicheli, F., & Ortigue, S. (2007). Insight of women’s sexual function and intimate relationships after termination of pregnancy: A review on recent findings and future perspectives. Current Women’s Health Reviews, 3, 31-41.
  • Dai J, Zhai H, Wu H, Yang S, Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S, Luo YJ. Maternal face processing in Mosuo preschool children. Biol Psychol; 99:69-76. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2014.03.001.

Interactive Self and Self-Other Cognitive Interdependence:

  • Cacioppo, S., Juan, E., & Monteleone, G. (2017). Predicting Intentions of a Familiar Significant Other Beyond the Mirror Neuron System. Front. Behav. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00155
  • Cacioppo S., Fontang F, Patel N, Decety J, Monteleone G, Cacioppo JT. (2014). Intention understanding over T: a neuroimaging study on shared representations and tennis return predictions. Front Hum Neurosci. Oct 6;8:781. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2014.00781. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 25339886; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4186286.
  • Juan E, Frum C, Bianchi-Demicheli F, Wang YW, Lewis JW, Cacioppo S. (2013) Beyond human intentions and emotions. Front Hum Neurosci, Mar 27;7:99. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00099. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 23543838; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3608908.
  • Ortigue, S., Sinigaglia, C., Rizzolatti, G., & Grafton, S.T. (2010). Understanding actions of others: The electrodynamics of the left and right hemispheres. A high-density EEG neuroimaging study. Plos One, 5, e12160. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0012160.
  • Ortigue, S., Thompson, J., Parasuraman, R., & Grafton, S.T. (2009). Spatio-temporal dynamics of human intention understanding: A combined EEG/fMRI repetition suppression paradigm. Plos One, 4, e6962. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0006962.
  • Ortigue, S., King, D., Gazzaniga, M., Miller, M., & Grafton, S.T. (2009). Right hemisphere dominance for understanding intentions of others:  Evidence from a split- brain patient. BMJ case reports. doi:10.1136/bcr.07.2008.0593.
  • Ortigue, S., & Bianchi-Demicheli, F. (2008). Why is your spouse so predictable? Connecting mirror neuron system and self-expansion model of love.  Medical Hypotheses, 71, 941-944. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2008.07.016.
  • Ortigue, S., Patel, N., Bianchi-Demicheli, F., & Grafton, S.T. (2010). Implicit priming of embodied cognition on human motor intention understanding in dyads in love. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 27, 1001-1015.
  • Ortigue, S., & Bianchi-Demicheli, F. (2011). Intention, false beliefs, and delusional jealousy: Insights into the right hemisphere from neurological patients and neuroimaging studies. Medical Science Monitor, 17, RA1-11.
  • Cacioppo S, Zhou H, Monteleone G, Majka EA, Quinn KA, Ball AB, Norman GJ, Semin GR, Cacioppo JT. (2014) You are in sync with me: neural correlates of interpersonal synchrony with a partner. Neuroscience.  Sep 26;277:842-58. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2014.07.051.
  • Wang Y, Huang L, Zhang W, Zhang Z, Cacioppo S. (2015) Spatio-temporal dynamics of kind versus hostile intentions in the human brain: An electrical neuroimaging study. Soc Neurosci.;10(3):253-67. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2014.990641.

Electrical Neuroimaging and Speed of the Social Brain:

  • Cacioppo, S., Grafton, S.T., & Bianchi-Demicheli, F. (2012). The speed of passionate love, as a subliminal prime: A high-density electrical neuroimaging study. NeuroQuantology, 10, 715-724.
  • Decety J, Cacioppo S. (2012). The speed of morality: a high-density electrical neuroimaging study. J Neurophysiol. Dec;108(11):3068-72. doi: 10.1152/jn.00473.2012. Epub 2012 Sep 5. PubMed PMID: 22956794.
  • Cacioppo S, Bianchi-Demicheli F, Bischof P, Deziegler D, Michel CM, Landis T. (2013). Hemispheric specialization varies with EEG brain resting states and phase of menstrual cycle. PLoS One. Apr 30;8(4):e63196. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063196. Print 2013. PubMed PMID: 23638185; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3640095.
  • Cacioppo, S. (2017). High-performance electrophysiological microsegmentation and brain source localization. In J. T. Cacioppo, L. Tassinary, & G. Berntson (Eds.), Handbook of psychophysiology (4th ed.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cacioppo S, Weiss RM, Cacioppo JT. (2016) Dynamic spatiotemporal brain analyses of the visual checkerboard task: Similarities and differences between passive and active viewing conditions. Psychophysiology. Oct;53(10):1496-506. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12723. Epub 2016 Jul 9. PubMed PMID: 27393016.
  • Cacioppo S, Cacioppo JT. (2015) Dynamic spatiotemporal brain analyses using high-performance electrical neuroimaging, Part II: A step-by-step tutorial. J Neurosci Methods. Dec 30;256:184-97. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2015.09.004.
  • Cacioppo S, Weiss RM, Runesha HB, Cacioppo JT. (2014) Dynamic spatiotemporal brain analyses using high performance electrical neuroimaging: theoretical framework and validation. J Neurosci Methods. Dec 30;238:11-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jneumeth.2014.09.009. Epub 2014 Sep 20. PubMed PMID: 25244954.
  • Cacioppo S, Bangee M, Balogh S, Cardenas-Iniguez C, Qualter P, Cacioppo JT. (2016) Loneliness and implicit attention to social threat: A high-performance electrical neuroimaging study. Cogn Neurosci. Jan-Oct;7(1-4):138-59. doi: 10.1080/17588928.2015.1070136. Epub 2015 Aug 14. PubMed PMID: 26274315.
  • Cacioppo S, Balogh S, Cacioppo JT. (2015) Implicit attention to negative social, in contrast to nonsocial, words in the Stroop task differs between individuals high and low in loneliness: Evidence from event-related brain microstates. Cortex. Sep;70:213-33. doi: 10.1016/j.cortex.2015.05.032.
  • Wang Y, Song J, Guo F, Zhang Z, Yuan S, Cacioppo S. (2016) Spatiotemporal Brain Dynamics of Empathy for Pain and Happiness in Friendship. Front Behav Neurosci. 2016 Mar 30;10:45. doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2016.00045. eCollection 2016. PubMed PMID: 27065822; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4811874.
  • Wu H, Chen C, Cheng D, Yang S, Huang R, Cacioppo S, Luo YJ. (2014) The mediation effect of menstrual phase on negative emotion processing: evidence from N2. Soc Neurosci.;9(3):278-88. doi: 10.1080/17470919.2014.886617. Epub 2014 Mar 3. Erratum in: Soc Neurosci. 2014;9(3):iii. PubMed PMID: 24579924.

Self-Dissociation and Social Alienation:

  • Cacioppo, S. (2016). What happens in your brain during mental dissociation? A quest towards neural markers of a unified sense of self. Current Behavioral Neuroscience Reports, 3, 1-9. Doi: 10.1007/s40473-016-0063-8.
  • Arzy, S., Seeck, M., Ortigue, S., Spinelli, L., & Blanke, O. (2006). Induction of an illusory shadow person. Nature, 443, 287.
  • Blanke, O., Ortigue, S., Landis, T., & Seeck, M. (2002). Stimulating illusory own-body perceptions. Nature, 419, 269-270.
  • Cacioppo S, Frum C, Asp E, Weiss RM, Lewis JW, Cacioppo JT. A quantitative meta-analysis of functional imaging studies of social rejection. Sci Rep. 2013;3:2027. doi: 10.1038/srep02027. Review. PubMed PMID: 24002359; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3761131.
  • Cacioppo S, Cacioppo JT. (2015) Why may allopregnanolone help alleviate loneliness? Med Hypotheses. Dec;85(6):947-52. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2015.09.004. Epub 2015 Sep 5. PubMed PMID: 26365247; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4648702.
  • Cacioppo S, Grippo AJ, London S, Goossens L, Cacioppo JT. (2015) Loneliness: clinical import and interventions. Perspect Psychol Sci. Mar;10(2):238-49. doi: 10.1177/1745691615570616. Review. PubMed PMID: 25866548; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4391342.
  • Cacioppo S, Capitanio JP, Cacioppo JT. (2014) Toward a neurology of loneliness. Psychol Bull. Nov;140(6):1464-504. doi: 10.1037/a0037618. Epub 2014 Sep 15. Review. PubMed PMID: 25222636.
  • Cacioppo, J.T., Chen, H. Y., & Cacioppo, S. (2017). Reciprocal influences between loneliness and self-centeredness: A cross lagged panel analysis in a population-based sample of African American, Hispanic, and Caucasian adults. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 43, 8, 1125-1135.
  • Cacioppo JT, Adler AB, Lester PB, McGurk D, Thomas JL, Chen HY, Cacioppo S. (2015) Building social resilience in soldiers: A double dissociative randomized controlled study. J Pers Soc Psychol. Jul;109(1):90-105. doi: 10.1037/pspi0000022. PubMed PMID: 26098588.
  • Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S, Cole SW, Capitanio JP, Goossens L, Boomsma DI. (2015) Loneliness across phylogeny and a call for comparative studies and animal models. Perspect Psychol Sci. Mar;10(2):202-12. doi: 10.1177/1745691614564876. Review. PubMed PMID: 25910390.
  • Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S, Capitanio JP, Cole SW. (2015) The neuroendocrinology of social isolation. Annu Rev Psychol. 2015 Jan 3;66:733-67. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-010814-015240. Epub 2014 Aug 22. Review. PubMed PMID: 25148851.
  • Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S. (2012). The Phenotype of Loneliness. Eur J Dev Psychol. 2012 Jul 1;9(4):446-452. Epub 2012 Jun 29. PubMed PMID: 23024688; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3459997.
  • Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S, Boomsma DI. (2014). Evolutionary mechanisms for loneliness. Cogn Emot.;28(1):3-21. doi: 10.1080/02699931.2013.837379. Epub 2013 Sep 25. Review. PubMed PMID: 24067110; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3855545.
  • Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S. (2014). Older adults reporting social isolation or loneliness show poorer cognitive function 4 years later. Evid Based Nurs. 2014 Apr;17(2):59-60. doi: 10.1136/eb-2013-101379.
  • Cacioppo JT, Cacioppo S. (2014) Social Relationships and Health: The Toxic Effects of Perceived Social Isolation. Soc Personal Psychol Compass. Feb 1;8(2):58-72. PubMed PMID: 24839458; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4021390.

For full list of scientific publications, Dr. S. Cacioppo at:

Society Memberships

  • International Society for the Study of Women's Sexual Health (ISSWSH) : Member 2016-
  • International Society for Sexual Medicine (ISSM) : Member 2016-
  • European Society for Sexual Medicine (ESSM) : Member 2008-
  • American NeuroPsychiatric Association (ANPA): Member 2014-
  • American Psychological Association (APA) : Member 2014-
  • Association for Psychological Science (APS) : Member 2013-
  • American Academy of Neurology (AAN) : Member 2014-
  • American Psychosomatic Society (APS) : Member 2013-
  • IEEE Signal Processing Society : Member 2014-
  • New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) : Member 2013-
  • Society for Neuroscience (SfN): Member 2014-
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research (SPR) : Member 2013-
  • Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) : Member 2011-
  • Society for Social Neuroscience (S4SN) : Member 2010-             
  • Society for the Teaching of Psychology (STP) : Member 2012-

Other Activities (University of Chicago)

Member, Grossman Institute for Neuroscience, Quantitative Biology, and Human Behavior. 

Executive member, Neuroscience Admissions Committee, The Biological Sciences Division (2015-present);

Executive member, Faculty Neuroimaging Search Committee, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience (2015);

Executive member, Faculty Retreat Committee, Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neuroscience (2014-2015);

Executive Committee member, Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience, The University of Chicago  (2012-present);

Chair, HPEN Scientific Review Committee, The University of Chicago  (2012-present);

Organizer, Chicago Neuroimaging Workshop on the Dynamic Social Brain (2015-present);

Co-organizer, Dana Foundation Brain Awareness week event at HPEN in collaboration with CCSN, RCC and the Kenwood Academy High-School (2013-present);

125th Anniversary Celebrations, Member, Group shaping a visual arts display that will go up throughout UCM/BSD buildings highlighting the milestones in basic science and medical research that have led the advancement of science and medicine at the University of Chicago. The Division of the Biological Sciences and the Pritzker School of Medicine, The University of Chicago (2015).

Other Activities (non- University of Chicago)

Secretary Elect, Society for Neuroscience, Chicago Chapter, 2017-

Scientific Committee Member, Female Sexual Health and Dysfunction, ESSM 2013-

Editorial Board, NeuroImage, 2009-2015

Editorial Board, Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, which is a specialty of Frontiers in Neuroscience, Psychology, Neurology and Psychiatry, 2012-

Editorial Board, Advances in Medicine, 2013-

Editorial Board, Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience 2014-

Member, International Scientific Committee for the Institute of Cognitive Neurology, 2013-