Jonas Kaplan

Associate Professor (Research) of Psychology
Pronouns He / Him / His Email Office DNI 251 Office Phone (213) 740-8552

Research & Practice Areas

cognitive neuroscience, functional magnetic resonance imaging

Center, Institute & Lab Affiliations

  • Brain and Creativity Institute,
  • Dornsife Cognitive Neuroscience Imaging Center,


  • Ph.D. Cognitive Neuroscience, University of California Los Angeles, 6/2002
  • B.S. Psychology, University of Michigan, 6/1996
  • Summary Statement of Research Interests

    My research in cognitive neuroscience focuses on issues of social relationships, empathy, self, action perception and creativity. I use functional neuroimaging to examine the neural mechanisms that underlie our experience of resonating with other people and being aware of our selves.

    Research Keywords

    cognitive neuroscience, social cognitive neuroscience, consciousness, awareness, self, self-recognition, self-awareness, empathy

  • Book Chapters

    • Iacoboni, M., Kaplan, J. T., Wilson, S. (2007). A neural architecture for imitation. in Models and Mechanisms of Imitation and Social Learning in Robots, Humans and Animals: Behavioural, Social and Communicative Dimension. Cambridge University Press.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Zaidel, E. (2007). Alexithymia across cultures. In Fragments of Mind. Academic Press.

    Journal Article

    • Butera, C., Kaplan, J. T., Kilroy, E., Harrison, L., Jayashankar, A., Loureiro, F., Aziz-Zadeh, L. (2023). The relationship between alexithymia, interoception, and neural functional connectivity during facial expression processing in autism spectrum disorder. Neuropsychologia. Vol. 180 (20230104), pp. 108469.
    • Christov-Moore, L., Reggente, N., Vaccaro, A., Schoeller, F., Pluimer, B., Douglas, P. K., Iacoboni, M., Man, K., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. T. (2023). Preventing antisocial robots: A pathway to artificial empathy. Sci Robot. Vol. 8 (8020230712), pp. eabq3658.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Vaccaro, A., Henning, M., Christov-Moore, L. (2023). Moral reframing of messages about mask-wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Sci Rep. Vol. 13 (120230622), pp. 10140.
    • Greening, S. G., Lee, T. H., Burleigh, L., Gregoire, L., Robinson, T., Jiang, X., Mather, M., Kaplan, J. T. (2022). Mental imagery can generate and regulate acquired differential fear conditioned reactivity. Sci Rep. Vol. 12 (120220119), pp. 997.
    • Marshall, N. A., Kaplan, J. T., Stoycos, S. A., Goldenberg, D., Khoddam, H., Cardenas, S. I., Sellery, P., Saxbe, D. (2022). Stronger mentalizing network connectivity in expectant fathers predicts postpartum father-infant bonding and parenting behavior. Soc Neurosci. Vol. 17 (120220126), pp. 21-36.
    • Vaccaro, A. G., Heydari, P., Christov-Moore, L., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. T. (2022). Perspective-taking is associated with increased discriminability of affective states in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. Vol. 17 (12), pp. 1082-1090.
    • Cardenas, S. I., Stoycos, S. A., Sellery, P., Marshall, N., Khoddam, H., Kaplan, J. T., Goldenberg, D., Saxbe, D. E. (2021). Theory of mind processing in expectant fathers: Associations with prenatal oxytocin and parental attunement. Dev Psychobiol. Vol. 63 (520210321), pp. 1549-1567.
    • Hennessy, S., Sachs, M., Kaplan, J. T., Habibi, A. (2021). Music and mood regulation during the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic. PLoS One. Vol. 16 (1020211020), pp. e0258027.
    • Kilroy, E., Harrison, L., Butera, C., Jayashankar, A., Cermak, S., Kaplan, J. T., Williams, M., Haranin, E., Bookheimer, S., Dapretto, M., Aziz-Zadeh, L. (2021). Unique deficit in embodied simulation in autism: An fMRI study comparing autism and developmental coordination disorder. Hum Brain Mapp. Vol. 42 (520201215), pp. 1532-1546.
    • Vaccaro, A. G., Scott, B., Gimbel, S. I., Kaplan, J. T. (2021). Functional Brain Connectivity During Narrative Processing Relates to Transportation and Story Influence. Front Hum Neurosci. Vol. 15 (20210705), pp. 665319.
    • Dunton, G. F., Kaplan, J. T., Monterosso, J., Pang, R. D., Mason, T. B., Kirkpatrick, M. G., Eckel, S. P., Leventhal, A. M. (2020). Conceptualizing Health Behaviors as Acute Mood-Altering Agents: Implications for Cancer Control. Cancer Prev Res (Phila). Vol. 13 (420200116), pp. 343-350.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Ramsay, J. W., Cameron, S. E., Seymore, K. D., Brehler, M., Thawait, G. K., Zbijewski, W. B., Siewerdsen, J. H., Brown, T. N. (2020). Association Between Knee Anatomic Metrics and Biomechanics for Male Soldiers Landing With Load. Am J Sports Med. Vol. 48 (620200407), pp. 1389-1397.
    • Khoddam, H., Goldenberg, D., Stoycos, S. A., Horton, K. T., Marshall, N., Cardenas, S. I., Kaplan, J. T., Saxbe, D. (2020). How do expectant fathers respond to infant cry? Examining brain and behavioral responses and the moderating role of testosterone. Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. Vol. 15 (4), pp. 437-446.
    • Man, K., Melo, G., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. T. (2020). Seeing objects improves our hearing of the sounds they make. Neurosci Conscious. Vol. 2020 (120200809), pp. niaa014.
    • Sachs, M. E., Habibi, A., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. T. (2020). Dynamic intersubject neural synchronization reflects affective responses to sad music. Neuroimage. Vol. 218 (20191231), pp. 116512.
    • Vaccaro, A. G., Kaplan, J. T., Damasio, A. (2020). Bittersweet: The Neuroscience of Ambivalent Affect. Perspect Psychol Sci. Vol. 15 (520200806), pp. 1187-1199.
    • Sachs, M., Kaplan, J. T., Habibi, A. (2019). Echoing the emotions of others: Empathy is related to how adults and children map emotion onto the body. Cognition and Emotion.
    • Saxbe, D., Del Piero, L., Stoycos, S., Gimbel, S., Margolin, G., Kaplan, J. T. (2018). Community Violence Exposure in Early Adolescence: Longitudinal Associations with Hippocampal Structure and Function. Developmental Science.
    • Sachs, M., Habibi, A., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. T. (2018). Identifying the neural signatures of emotions expressed through sound. NeuroImage. Vol. 174
    • Saxbe, D., Lyden, H., Gimbel, S. I., Sachs, M., Del Piero, L., Margolin, G., Kaplan, J. T. (2018). Longitudinal associations between family aggression, externalizing behavior, and the structure and function of the amygdala. Journal of Research on Adolescence.
    • Sachs, M., Kaplan, J. T., Der Sarkissian, A., Habibi, A. (2017). The association of music and sports training with response inhibition networks during an fMRI Stroop task. PLoS One.
    • Dehghani, M., Boghrati, R., Man, K., Hoover, J., Zevin, J., Gimbel, S. I., Vaswani, A., Immordino-Yang, M., Gordon, A., Damasio, A., Kaplan, J. T. (2017). Decoding the neural representation of story meanings across languages. Human Brain Mapping.
    • Stoycos, S., Del Piero, L., Margolin, G., Kaplan, J. T., Saxbe, D. (2017). Neural correlates of inhibitory spillover in adolescence: Associations with internalizing symptoms. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience.
    • Henning, M., Fox, G., Kaplan, J. T., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2017). A Potential Role for mu-Opioids in Mediating the Positive Effects of Gratitude. Frontiers in Psychology.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Gimbel, S. I., Harris, S. (2016). Neural correlates of maintaining one’s political beliefs in the face of counterevidence. Scientific Reports.
    • Lyden, H., Gimbel, S. I., Del Piero, L., Tsai, A. B., Sachs, M. E., Kaplan, J. T., Margolin, G., Saxbe, D. (2016). Associations between Family Adversity and Brain Volume in Adolescence: Manual vs. Automated Brain Segmentation Yields Different Results. Front Neurosci. Vol. 10, pp. 398.
    • Saxbe, D., Del Piero, L. B., Immordino-Yang, M. H., Kaplan, J. T., Margolin, G. (2016). Neural mediators of the intergenerational transmission of family aggression. Dev Psychopathol. Vol. 28 (2), pp. 595-606.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Gimbel, S. I., Dehghani, M., Immordino-Yang, M. H., Sagae, K., Wong, J. D., Tipper, C. M., Damasio, H., Gordon, A. S., Damasio, A. (2016). Processing Narratives Concerning Protected Values: A Cross-Cultural Investigation of Neural Correlates. Cerebral Cortex.
    • Fox, G., Kaplan, J. T., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2015). Neural correlates of gratitude. Frontiers in Psychology.
    • Araujo, H., Kaplan, J. T., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2015). Neural correlates of different self domains. Brain and Behavior.
    • Man, K., Damasio, A., Meyer, K., Kaplan, J. T. (2015). Convergent and invariant object representations for sight, sound, and touch. Human Brain Mapping.
    • Saxbe, D., Borofsky Del Piero, L., Immordino-Yang, M., Kaplan, J. T., Margolin, G. (2015). Neural mediators of the intergenerational transmission of family aggression. Development and Psychopathology.
    • Saxbe, D., Del Piero, L., Immordino-Yang, M., Kaplan, J. T., Margolin, G. (2015). Neural correlates of adolescents’ viewing of parents’ and peers’ emotions: Associations with risk-taking behavior and risky peer affiliations. Social Neuroscience.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Man, K., Greening, S. (2015). Multi-Voxel Cross-Classification: Applying machine learning techniques to characterize abstraction in neural representations. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
    • Martins, B., Ponzio, A., Velasco, R., Kaplan, J. T., Mathers, M. (2014). Dedifferentiation of emotion regulation strategy representations in the aging brain. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.
    • Habibi, A., Ilari, B., Crimi, K., Metke, M., Kaplan, J. T., Joshi, A., Leahy, R., Shattuck, D., Choi, S., Ficek, B., Haldar, J., Damasio, A., Damasio, H. (2014). An Equal Start: Absence of Group Differences in Cognitive, Social and Neural Measures Prior to Music or Sports Training in Children. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Vol. 8 (690)
    • Araujo, H., Kaplan, J. T., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2014). Involvement of cortical midline structures in the processing of autobiographical information. PeerJ. Vol. 2, pp. e481.
    • Hale, S., Kane, A., Kaminsky, O., Tung, K., Loo, S., McGough, J., Kaplan, J. T. (2014). Visual Network Asymmetry and Default Mode Network Function in ADHD: An fMRI Study. Frontiers in Psychiatry. Vol. 5 (81)
    • Araujo, H., Kaplan, J., Damasio, A. (2013). Cortical midline structures in autobiographical self processes: an activation-likelihood estimation (ALE) meta-analysis. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Vol. 7, pp. 584.
    • Man, K., Kaplan, J., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2013). Neural convergence and divergence in the mammalian cerebral cortex: from experimental neuroanatomy to functional neuroimaging. Journal of Comparative Neurology.
    • Sagae, K., Gordon, A., Metke, M., Kim, J., Gimbel, S. I., Tipper, C., Kaplan, J., Immordino-Yang, M. (2013). A data-driven approach for classification of subjectivity in personal narratives. Proceedings of the 2013 Workshop on Computational Models of Narrative. (OASIcs XX, Scholss Dagstuhl)
    • Man, K., Kaplan, J. T., Damasio, A., Meyer, K. (2012). Sight and sound converge to form modality-invariant representations in temporo-parietal cortex. Journal of Neuroscience. Vol. 32, pp. 16629-16636.
    • Sobhani, M., Fox, G., Kaplan, J. T., Aziz-Zadeh, L. (2012). Interpersonal liking modulates motor-related neural regions. PLoS One. Vol. 7 (10), pp. e46809.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Meyer, K. (2012). Multivariate pattern analysis reveals common neural patterns across individuals during touch observation. NeuroImage. Vol. 60 (1), pp. 204-212.
    • Meyer, K., Kaplan, J. T. (2011). Cross-modal multivariate pattern analysis. Journal of Visualized Experiments. Video article
    • Meyer, K., Kaplan, J. T., Essex, R., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2011). Seeing touch is correlated with content-specific activity in primary somatosensory cortex. Cerebral Cortex.
    • Meyer, K., Kaplan, J. T., Essex, R., Webber, C., Damasio, H., Damasio, A. (2010). Predicting visual stimuli based on activity in auditory cortices. Nature Neuroscience. Vol. 13 (6), pp. 667-8.
    • Mukamel, R., Ekstrom, A., Kaplan, J. T., Iacoboni, M., Fried, I. (2010). Single neuron responses in humans during execution and observation of actions. Current Biology. Vol. 20, pp. 750-756.
    • Harris, S., Kaplan, J. T., Curiel, A., Bookheimer, S., Iacoboni, M., Cohen, M. (2009). The neural correlates of religious and nonreligious belief. PLoS One. Vol. 4 (10), pp. e0007272.
    • Mazziotta, J. C., Woods, R., Iacoboni, M., Yaden, K., Tran, M., Bean, C., Kaplan, J. T., Toga, A. (2009). The myth of the normal, average human brain – the ICBM experience: Subject screening and eligibility. NeuroImage.
    • Greene, D. J., Mooshagian, E., Kaplan, J. T., Zaidel, E., Iacoboni, M. (2009). The neural correlates of social attention: Automatic orienting to social and nonsocial cues. Psychological Research. Vol. 73 (4), pp. 499-511.
    • Aziz-Zadeh, L., Kaplan, J. T., Iacoboni, M. (2009). Aha! The neural correlates of verbal insight solutions. Human Brain Mapping. Vol. 30, pp. 908-916.
    • Bystritsky, A., Kaplan, J. T., Feusner, J., Wadekar, M., Kerwin, L., Burock, M., Wu, A., Iacoboni, M. (2008). Preliminary study of fMRI guided rTMS in the treatment of GAD. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Vol. 69 (7), pp. 1092-8.
    • Mooshagian, E., Kaplan, J. T., Zaidel, E., Iacoboni, M. (2008). Fast visuomotor processing of redundant targets: The role of the right temporo-parietal junction. PLOS One. Vol. 3 (6), pp. e2348.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Aziz-Zadeh, L., Uddin, L., Iacoboni, M. (2008). The self across the senses: The neural response to one’s own face and voice. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience. Vol. 3 (3), pp. 218-223.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Iacoboni, M. (2007). Multimodal action representation in human left ventral premotor cortex. Cognitive Processing. Vol. 8, pp. 103-113.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Freedman, J., Iacoboni, M. (2007). Us vs. Them: Political attitudes and party affiliation influence neural response to faces of presidential candidates. Neuropsychologia. Vol. 45, pp. 55-64.
    • Molnar-Szakacs, I., Kaplan, J. T., Greenfield, P. M., Iacoboni, M. (2006). Observing action sequences: The role of the fronto-parietal mirror neuron system. NeuroImage. Vol. 33 (3), pp. 923-35.
    • Kaplan, J. T. (2006). Getting a grip on other minds: mirror neurons, intention understanding, and cognitive empathy. Social Neuroscience. Vol. 1 (3-4), pp. 175-83.
    • Uddin, L., Kaplan, J. T., Molnar-Szakacs, I., Zaidel, E., Iacoboni, M. (2005). Self-face recognition activates a fronto-parietal “mirror network” in the right hemisphere: an event-related fMRI study. NeuroImage. Vol. 25 (3), pp. 926-35.
    • Kaplan, J. T., Zaidel, E. (2001). Error monitoring in the hemispheres: The effect of lateralized feedback on lexical decision. Cognition. Vol. 82 (2), pp. 157-78.
USC Dornsife faculty and staff may update profiles via MyDornsife.