James P. Morris


  • BA, University of Cincinnati
  • PhD, Stony Brook University
  • Postdoc, Duke University
  • Postdoc, Yale University

Primary Appointment

  • Assistant Professor, Psychology


Research Interest(s)

Social perception and cognition; Social Neuroscience; Human Neuroscience

Research Description

I am interested in characterizing the neural processes underlying typical and atypical human social behavior. My lab incorporates a multimodal approach employing such techniques as electroencephalography (EEG), event-related potential recordings (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Current projects include 1) investigation of subcortical networks supporting imitative behavior, 2) the neural basis of pretense understanding, 3) the malleability of the brain’s response to in- and out-group members, and 4) epigenetic modulation of brain activity evoked by social stimuli.

UNLEASH (Undergraduate Research)

Our lab focuses on the neural bases of normal and social function using a multimodal approach. By using such techniques as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), electroencephalography (EEG), scalp-recorded event-related potentials (ERP), and eye-tracking, we seek to understand how social behavior and brain processes interact. Past studies have focused on pretend play in adults, face recognition for in-group and out-group members, imitation, and self-transcendence. Undergraduate RAs play an integral role in the lab. Duties include running subjects, data collection and analysis, stimuli creation as well as the opportunity to work alongside graduate students and create original research ideas. Experience with programming is preferred. Contact: Morgan E. Lynch Website: uvasocialneuroscience.com

Selected Publications

  • Smith E, Englander Z, Lillard A, Morris J. Cortical mechanisms of pretense observation. Social neuroscience. 2013;8(4): 356-68. PMID: 23802124
  • Englander Z, Haidt J, Morris J. Neural basis of moral elevation demonstrated through inter-subject synchronization of cortical activity during free-viewing. PloS one. 2012;7(6): e39384. PMID: 22745745 | PMCID: PMC3379986
  • Lerner M, McPartland J, Morris J. Multimodal emotion processing in autism spectrum disorders: an event-related potential study. Developmental cognitive neuroscience. 2012;3 11-21. PMID: 23245216
  • Jack A, Englander Z, Morris J. Subcortical contributions to effective connectivity in brain networks supporting imitation. Neuropsychologia. 2011;49(13): 3689-98. PMID: 21958651
  • Heyda R, Green S, Vander Wyk B, Morris J, Pelphrey K. Brain mechanisms for representing what another person sees. NeuroImage. 2010;50(2): 693-700. PMID: 20056152 | PMCID: PMC2824003
  • Haidt J, Morris J. Finding the self in self-transcendent emotions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 2009;106(19): 7687-8. PMID: 19416850 | PMCID: PMC2683117
  • Pelphrey K, Lopez J, Morris J. Developmental continuity and change in responses to social and nonsocial categories in human extrastriate visual cortex. Frontiers in human neuroscience. 2009;3 25. PMID: 19826492 | PMCID: PMC2759331
  • Perlman S, Morris J, Vander Wyk B, Green S, Doyle J, Pelphrey K. Individual differences in personality predict how people look at faces. PloS one. 2009;4(6): e5952. PMID: 19543398 | PMCID: PMC2695783
  • Morris J, Green S, Marion B, McCarthy G. Guided saccades modulate face- and body-sensitive activation in the occipitotemporal cortex during social perception. Brain and cognition. 2008;67(3): 254-63. PMID: 18346831
  • Morris J, Pelphrey K, McCarthy G. Perceived causality influences brain activity evoked by biological motion. Social neuroscience. 2008;3(1): 16-25. PMID: 18633843
  • Morris J, Pelphrey K, McCarthy G. Face processing without awareness in the right fusiform gyrus. Neuropsychologia. 2007;45(13): 3087-91. PMID: 17643452 | PMCID: NIHMS31521