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Indiana University Bloomington

Aina Puce

Dr. Aina Puce

Eleanor Cox Riggs Professor


ainapuce [at]

office: PY 144 | (812)856-0417

lab: Social Neuroscience Lab (EEG/TMS)
   PY 189 / 190 | (812)855-1274


Social cognition; nonverbal communication; multisensor processing; functional MRI; electroencephalography; eye tracking; transcranial magnetic stimulation

Educational Background

  • 1990 - Ph.D. in Medicine, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  • 1985 - Master of Applied Science in Physics, Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia
  • 1981 - Bachelor of Applied Science in Biophysics/Instrumental Science, Swinburne Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Australia

Areas of Study

  • Cognitive neuroscience, Social Cognition, Neuroimaging

Research Topics

  • Social Cognition
  • Non-verbal communication
  • Multisensory processing
  • Functional MRI
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Eye tracking
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

Research Summary:

My research program focuses on the neural basis of social cognition - the ability to interpret the actions, intentions and emotions of others. Non-verbal communication is a main theme in the laboratory, as is the context in which the action is presented in. We are developing activation tasks that attempt to mimic real-life situations as closely as possible. Our experiments use combinations of different techniques including behavior, functional MRI, event-related potentials, eye tracking and transcranial magnetic stimulation. The final technique or techniques used are determined by the particular scientific question being asked. The laboratory has multimodal integration capability.

Representative Publications

    Ulloa JL, Puce A, Hugueville L, George N. (2012) Sustained neural activity to gaze
    and emotion perception in dynamic social scenes. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci 2012 Dec 19. [Epub ahead of print]

    Brefczynski-Lewis JA, Berrebi ME, McNeely ME, Prostko AL, Puce A. (2011) In the blink of an eye: Neural responses elicited to viewing the eye blinks of another
    individual. Front Hum Neurosci 2011 5:68-76. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2011.00068

    Petrini K, Pollick FE, Dahl S, McAleer P, McKay LS, Rocchesso D, Waadeland CH,
    Love S, Avanzini F, Puce A. (2011) Action expertise reduces brain activity for
    audiovisual matching actions: An fMRI study with expert drummers. Neuroimage 56:1480-1492.

    Kim DJ, Skosnik PD, Cheng H, Pruce BJ, Brumbaugh MS, Vollmer JM, Hetrick WP,
    O'Donnell BF, Sporns O, Puce A, Newman SD. (2011) Structural network topology revealed by white matter tractography in cannabis users: A graph theoretical analysis. Brain Connectivity 1:473-483.

    Brefczynski-Lewis J, Lowitzsch, Parsons MW, Lemieux SK, Puce A. (2009) Audiovisual non-verbal dynamic faces elicit converging fMRI and ERP responses. Brain Topography 21:193-206.

    Engel LR, Frum C, Puce A, Walker NA, Lewis JW. (2009) Different categories of living and non-living sound-sources activate distinct cortical networks. Neuroimage 41:1778-1791.

    Schroeder CE, Lakatos P, Kajikawa Y, Partan S, Puce A. (2008) Opinion: Neuronal oscillations and visual amplification of speech. Trends Cog Sci 12:106-113.

    Hardee JE, Thompson JC, Puce A. (2008) The left amygdala knows fear: Laterality in the amygdala response to fearful eyes. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 3: 47-54.

    Thompson JC, Hardee JE, Panayiotou A, Crewther D, Puce A. (2007) Topographic organization of fMRI responses to viewing dynamic sequences of face and hand movements. Neuroimage 37: 966-973.

    Carrick OK, Thompson JC, Epling JA, Puce A. (2007) It's all in the eyes: neural responses to the social significance of gaze shifts. NeuroReport 18:763-766.

    Puce A, Epling JA, Thompson JC, Carrick OK. (2007) Neural responses elicited to face and vocalization pairings. Neuropsychologia 45: 93-106.

    Thompson JC, Clarke M, Stewart T, Puce A. (2005) Configural processing of biological movement in human superior temporal sulcus. J Neurosci 25: 9059-9066.

    Thompson JC, Abbott D, Syngeniotis A, Wheaton KJ, Puce A. (2004) Digit representation is more than just hand waving. Brain Res Cog Brain Res 21: 412-417.

    Wheaton KJ, Thompson JC, Syngeniotis A, Abbott DF, Puce A. (2004) Viewing the motion of human body parts activates different regions of premotor, temporal and parietal cortex. Neuroimage 22: 277-288.