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David Amodio is an American scientist who examines the psychological and neural mechanisms underlying social behavior, with a focus on self-regulation and intergroup relations. Amodio is known for his role in developing the field of social neuroscience and for his neuroscientific approach to social psychology.[1][2]

Amodio’s research considers the roles of social cognition, emotion, and motivation, and their neural underpinnings, as they relate to implicit processes[3][4] and mechanisms of control in social behaviors,[5][6] and his research has revealed that social motivations and attitudes can shape the earliest stages of face processing in vision.[7][8][9]

In a complementary line of work, Amodio investigates the effects of discrimination on health and decision making among targets of prejudice, with the broad goal of understanding and reducing health disparities.[10][11]

Amodio is also the author of an influential review of the brain’s role in social cognition,[12] and he has received attention for his study showing that political liberals and conservatives differ in patterns of brain activity associated with cognitive control[13]—an early example of research in the field of political neuroscience.

Although his questions often address classic social psychological issues, Amodio’s approach is interdisciplinary; he integrates theory and methodology from social psychology, cognitive and affective neuroscience, and psychophysiology to inform his hypotheses and the designs of his studies.[14]

Amodio directs the New York University Social Neuroscience Laboratory and the NYU Social Neuroscience Network, and he serves as Associate Editor for the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. He was also a co-founder of the Social and Affective Neuroscience Society and served on the founding advisory board for the Society for Social Neuroscience.


Amodio has been recognized for his research contributions with awards such as the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) from the White House, the Janet T. Spence Award for Transformative Early Career Contributions from the Association for Psychological Science, the F. J. McGuigan Early Career Investigator Prize from the American Psychological Foundation, the Early Career Award for Contribution to Social Cognition from the International Social Cognition Network, and the SAGE Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology.


  1. Amodio, D. M. (2008). The social neuroscience of intergroup relations. European Review of Social Psychology, 19, 1-54.
  2. Amodio, D. M. & Harmon-Jones, E. (2012). Neuroscience approaches in social and personality psychology. In M. Snyder & K. Deaux (Eds.), Handbook of social and personality psychology (pp. 11-150). New York: Oxford University Press.
  3. Amodio, D. M., & Ratner, K. G. (2011). A memory systems model of implicit social cognition. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20, 143-148.
  4. Amodio, D. M., & Hamilton, H. K. (2012). Intergroup anxiety effects on implicit racial evaluation and stereotyping. Emotion, 12, 1273-1280.
  5. Amodio, D. M., Harmon-Jones, E., Devine, P. G., Curtin, J. J., Hartley, S. L., & Covert, A. E. (2004). Neural signals for the detection of unintentional race bias.  Psychological Science, 15, 88-93.
  6. Amodio, D. M. (2010). Coordinated roles of motivation and perception in the regulation of intergroup responses: Frontal cortical asymmetry effects on the P2 event-related potential and behavior. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 2609-2617.
  7. Ratner, K. G., & Amodio, D. M. (2013). Seeing “us vs. them": Minimal group effects on the neural encoding of faces. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49, 298-301. 
  8. Ofan, R. H., Rubin, N., Amodio, D. M. (2011). Seeing race: N170 responses to race and their relation to automatic racial attitudes and controlled processing. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 3152-3161.
  9. Ofan, R. H., Rubin, N., Amodio, D. M. (2013). Situation-based social anxiety enhances the neural processing of faces: Evidence from an intergroup context. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience.
  10. Halim, M. L., Yoshikawa, H., & Amodio, D. M. (2013). Cross-generational effects of discrimination in immigrant mothers: Perceptions of bias predict child’s healthcare visits for illness. Health Psychology, 32, 203-211.
  11. Ratner, K. G., Halim, M. L., & Amodio, D. M. (2013). Perceived stigmatization, ingroup pride, and immune and endocrine activity: Evidence from a Black and Latina community sample. Social Psychological and Personality Science, 4, 82-91.
  12. Amodio, D. M., & Frith, C. D. (2006). Meeting of minds: The medial frontal cortex and social cognition. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 7, 268-277.
  13. Amodio, D. M., Jost, J. T., Master, S. L., & Yee, C. M. (2007). Neurocognitive correlates of liberalism and conservatism. Nature Neuroscience, 10, 1246-1247.
  14. Amodio, D. M. (2010). Can neuroscience advance social psychological theory? Social neuroscience for the behavioral social psychologist. Social Cognition, 28, 695-716.
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