Brain Dynamics Laboratory

Welcome to the Brain Dynamics Lab

The Brain Dynamics Laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach to study brain dynamics in social species. Our specialty is in loneliness and social connections, and our lab is a hub for social neuroscience research.

Team Science

The Brain Dynamics community is proud to collaborate with others throughout the world.

Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo, Ph.D.

Letter from the Director:

We are beyond excited to invite you to the 10th anniversary of the non-profit Society for Social Neuroscience that will be held at the Museum of Science and Industry on October 17th, 2019. Social neuroscience is the interdisciplinary academic field devoted to understanding how biological systems implement social processes and behavior, and how these social structures and processes impact the brain and biology.

As neuroscience matures, it has become increasingly apparent that we need to inspire local youth by sharing and teaching them all we know about our science. Our mission is to make an impact in the lives of young people and help build a scientific community through immersive learning. We hope to serve as an interdisciplinary, distributed gathering place to advance and foster scientific training and applications in the field for the sake of humankind.
The University of Chicago Brain Dynamics Laboratory has partnered with the Research Computing Center for several years to help teach local youth how the brain works. It is our great pleasure to continue this endeavor again this year and invite you all to join us and celebrate the growth of social neuroscience.

Among the activities we are planning are live brain demonstrations, surprise guests, and free access to the Museum of Science and Industry. More information about this outreach event can be found at

We look forward to seeing you and welcoming you all to our Social Neuroscience Fair on October 17th, 2019.

– Dr. Stephanie Cacioppo, Ph.D.

Time until the Social Neuroscience Fair









As of November 1st 2017, the High-Performance Electrical Neuroimaging Laboratory (HPEN) has been converted to the Brain Dynamics Laboratory to better reflect the full range of of methods that are used and the questions that are addressed in the lab. For instance, methods used include:

  • High-Performance Electrical Neuroimaging (HPEN)
  • Eye-tracking
  • Psychophysics
  • Neuropsychopharmacology
  • fMRI analysis

Our Mission:

The main goal of the University of Chicago Brain Dynamics Laboratory of the Center for Cognitive and Social Neuroscience is to advance the scientific knowledge of the spatiotemporal dynamics of the social brain. 

Combining high-performance electrical neuroimaging, algorithms integrating brain source localization, noise suppression and bootstrapping with high performance computing, and other methods, the Brain Dynamics Laboratory offers cutting edge tools for the study of brain dynamics in social spaces.

The emphasis is placed on converging resources, sharing data and protocols and integrating scientific theoretical knowledge and methodologies from four main disciplinary fields: High Performance Computing (HPC), Psychology, Psychiatry, Neurology, and Cognitive and Social Neuroscience.

The ultimate mission of the lab is to create an open access scientific community with new interdisciplinary learning opportunities in social neuroscience, electrical neuroimaging and super computing for scientists, students, and teachers.

Research Opportunities

If you would like to be involved in research at the Brain Dynamics Laboratory, contact us!

About Us:

The Brain Dynamics Scientific Community:

We are building a non-profit interdisciplinary scientific community and a prototype system to increase the capacity for data-intensive research in the social, behavioral, and economic sciences. The emphasis is placed on converging resources and integrating scientific theoretical knowledge and methodologies from three main disciplinary fields: High Performance Computing (HPC), psychology, and the neurosciences. The ultimate goal is to facilitate large-scale data access, and develop next-generation open-source data resources and relevant analytic techniques to advance basic scientific knowledge and education across multiple disciplinary fields by enabling new types of high-performance computing and data-intensive research enterprises.


Understanding the brain mechanisms underlying social interaction represents an interdisciplinary effort that addresses one of the major scientific problems in the 21st century.  Neuroimaging has made it possible to exam the working brain in normal individuals, but among the limitations of most functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies are the reliance on small numbers of participants (i.e., low statistically powered studies) and the information it provides about how functionally segregated regions are temporally structured and communicate with each other.


We seek to develop working prototypes for high-performance computing and data-intensive processing and imaging that will make tractable large-sample and otherwise computationally prohibitive analysis techniques, with an emphasis in Phase I of this initiative on high-density electrical neuroimaging to help address the limitations of fMRI. Specifically, we seek to build an interdisciplinary community of social, behavioral, and economic scientists, neuroscientists, and computer scientists who would work with this prototype and become involved in the design of both an open-source computing framework for electrical neuroimaging and a data repository that would facilitate large-scale sample high-performance data analyses of brain-behavior relationships.


This platform would promote transformational capabilities in functional neuroimaging and high density EEG/ERP data processing by establishing a common protocol and sharing mechanism for research data sets regardless of the location of data collection.

These capacities would be designed to be compatible with and to complement existing open-source neuroimaging packages (e.g., SPM) and fMRI data repositories.

Featured Videos:

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Our lab also sends out newsletters regarding advancements made by our lab and in general with regard to the field of social neuroscience! If you’d like to receive email notifications and newsletters from us, you can subscribe here.


Social Science Fair

We are beyond excited to invite you to the 10th anniversary of the non-profit Society for Social Neuroscience that will be held at the Museum of Science and Industry on October 17th, 2019. Social neuroscience is the interdisciplinary academic field devoted to...

Number of Citations of Dr. Cacioppo’s Papers:


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