Portrait of Dr Ruben Azevedo

Dr Ruben Azevedo

Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience
Research Participation Scheme Coordinator
Placement Degree Supervisor


Dr Ruben Azevedo is a Lecturer in Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Kent. His research research focuses on understanding the mechanisms underlying brain-body communication. 

Key publications

  • Azevedo, R.T., Von Mohr, M., & Tsakiris, M. (2022). From viscera to first impressions: Phase dependent cardio-visual signals bias the perceived trustworthiness of faces. Psychological Science. 09567976221131519
  • Villani, V., Finotti, G., Di Lernia, D., Tsakiris, M., & Azevedo, R. T. (2022). Event-related transcutaneous vagus nerve stimulation modulates behaviour and pupillary responses during an auditory oddball task. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 140. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2022.105719
  • Villani, V., Tsakiris, M., & Azevedo, R.T. (2019). Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation Improves Interoceptive Accuracy. Neuropsychologia134. doi:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2019.107201  
  • Azevedo, R.T.*, Badoud, D.*, & Tsakiris, M .(2017). Afferent cardiac signals modulate attentional engagement to low spatial frequency fearful faces. Cortex. (*shared authorship). doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2017.06.016
  • Azevedo, R.T., Garfinkel, S., Critchley, H.D. & Tsakiris. M. (2017). Cardiac afferent activity modulates the expression of racial stereotypes. Nature Communications8, 13854. doi:dx.doi.org/10.1038/ncomms13854
  • Sel, A.*, Azevedo, R.T.* & Tsakiris, M. (2016). Heartfelt Self: Cardio-visual integration affects self-face recognition and interoceptive cortical processing. Cerebral Cortex27, 5144–5155. (*shared authorship). doi:10.1093/cercor/bhw296
  • Azevedo, R.T., Macaluso, E., Avenanti, A., Santangelo, V., Cazzato, V., Aglioti, S.M. (2013). Their pain is not our pain: Brain and autonomic correlates of empathic resonance with the pain of same and different race individuals. Human Brain Mapping, 34(12), 3168-8. doi:10.1002/hbm.22133

Research interests

Ruben is particularly interested in studying how afferent interoceptive information (i.e. physiological signals arising from internal body organs such as the heart) influences the perception of social stimuli and modulate social attitudes and behaviour. Other interests include self-awareness, empathy and visual politics. To carry out his research he uses behavioural measurements, psychophysiology, fMRI and non-invasive vagus nerve stimulation.


Ruben welcomes applications from (prospective) students who wish to carry out research on topics related to interoception and body-brain interactions.

Current PhD students:

  • Vasileios Kotsaris


Grants and awards

Oct 2017-Oct 2018The Interoceptive Self: Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve
Stimulation as a new tool to investigate heart-brain
Principal investigator

Oct 2009-Oct 2013Independent PhD studentship
Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT)
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