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Julia Basso, PhD, CYT

Assistant Professor
  • Fellow, Center for Health Behaviors Research
  • Fellow, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion
  • Affiliate Faculty, the School of Neuroscience
  • Affiliate Faculty, Autism Clinic & Center for Autism Research
  • Focus area(s): The effects of mind-body-movement practices on brain function and physiology; at the intersection of art and science
Virginia Tech faculty member stands outside against a HokieStone building for a professional headshot.
1711 N. Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
  • Graduate Program Track(s): Behavioral & Community Science; Molecular & Cellular Science
  • Lab Email:


Ph.D., Behavioral and Neural Science, Rutgers University, 2013

CYT, Hatha Yoga, Vibhuti Yoga School, Inc., 2012

B.A., Neuroscience / Dance, 2005


2023 – present: Affiliate Faculty, Virginia Tech Autism Clinic & Center for Autism Research, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2021 – present: Assistant Professor, Department of Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2020 – present: Affiliate Faculty, School of Neuroscience, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2019 – present: Virginia Tech Faculty of Health Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

2018 – present: Fellow, Center for Health Behaviors Research, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion, Roanoke, VA

2018 – 2021: Senior Research Associate, Center for Health Behaviors Research, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at Virginia Tech Carilion, Roanoke, VA 

2018: Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Neuroscience, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT

2012 – 2017: Post-doctoral Research Associate, Center for Neural Science, New York University, New York, NY

2007 – 2012: Graduate Fellow, Center for Behavioral and Neural Science, Rutgers University, Newark, NJ

2005 – 2007: Clinical Research Specialist, Department of Family Medicine, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA

2005: Clinical Staff, Counseling Service of Addison County, Middlebury, VT

2000 – 2001: Research Assistant, CRI Lifetree, Clementon, NJ

Selected Major Awards

  • 2023 – College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) Diversity and Inclusion Service Award, Virginia Tech
  • 2022 – Institute for Society, Culture, and Environment Scholars Award, Virginia Tech
  • 2021 – iTHRIV (integrated Translation Health Research Institute of Virginia) Scholars Award
  • 2020 – NIH K and New Investigator R01 Proposal Preparation Program, Virginia Tech
  • 2019 – Addiction Recovery Research Center 2019 Impact Award, Virginia Tech
  • 2007 – Presidential Fellowship, Rutgers University
  • 2005 – Magna Cum Laude, Middlebury College
  • 2003 – Psi Chi National Honors Society for Psychology, Middlebury College
  • 2002 – CRC Press Freshman Chemistry Achievement Award
  • 2000 – Foundation for Educational Opportunity Scholarship
  • 2000 – Haddonfield New Jersey Lions Club Achievement Award
  • 2000 – George Washington University Excellence in Science and Math Award

Program Focus

The Embodied Brain Lab (EBL) is dedicated to the scientific discovery of the body-brain connection. The mission of EBL is to harness the power of the body and mind to improve brain function and physiology in both healthy and clinical populations. We utilize a range of mind-body-movement practices including dance, yoga, and meditation to examine ways to improve mood, memory, and social interactions. Our research has two main goals including: 1) to identify the neural and behavioral mechanisms through which mind-body-movement practices optimize brain health and wellness; and 2) to identify the neural and behavioral mechanisms that optimize motivational engagement in physical activity and other health behaviors. We work with both animal and human models and a range of methodological approaches including electroencephalography and intracranial recordings. 

For more information, please visit:

Two dancers wearing brain monitoring caps


Selected Publications

  • Humphries, A., Tasnim, N., Rugh, R., Patrick, M., & Basso, J. C. (2023). Acutely enhancing affective state and social connection following an online dance intervention during the COVID-19 social isolation crisis. BMC psychology11(1), 1-12. Link.
  • Lynn, S., & Basso, J. C. (2023). Development and validation of the multidimensional impacts of movement scale (MIMS) for yoga, weightlifting, and running. Frontiers in Psychology14, 1078996. Link.
  • Lynn, S., & Basso, J. C. (2023). Effects of a Neuroscience-Based Mindfulness Meditation Program on Psychological Health: Pilot Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Formative Research7(1), e40135. Link.
  • Basso, J. C., Oberlin, D. J., Satyal, M. K., O’Brien, C. E., Crosta, C., Psaras, Z., ... & Suzuki, W. A. (2022). Examining the Effect of Increased Aerobic Exercise in Moderately Fit Adults on Psychological State and Cognitive Function. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience16, 833149. Link.
  • Lynn, S., Satyal, M. K., Smith, A. J., Tasnim, N., Gyamfi, D., English, D. F., ... & Basso, J. C. (2022). Dispositional mindfulness and its relationship to exercise motivation and experience. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living4, 934657. Link.
  • Basso, J. C., Satyal, M. K., & Rugh, R. (2021). Dance on the brain: enhancing intra-and inter-brain synchrony. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 586. Link.
  • Basso, J. C., McHale, A., Ende, V., Oberlin, D. J., & Suzuki, W. A. (2019). Brief, daily meditation enhances attention, memory, mood, and emotional regulation in non-experienced meditators. Behavioural brain research356, 208-220. Link.
  • Basso, J. C., & Morrell, J. I. (2017). Using wheel availability to shape running behavior of the rat towards improved behavioral and neurobiological outcomes. Journal of Neuroscience Methods290, 13-23. Link.
  • Basso, J. C., Shang, A., Elman, M., Karmouta, R., & Suzuki, W. A. (2015). Acute exercise improves prefrontal cortex but not hippocampal function in healthy adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society21(10), 791-801. Link.
  • Basso, J. C., & Morrell, J. I. (2015). The medial prefrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens mediate the motivation for voluntary wheel running in the rat. Behavioral neuroscience129(4), 457. Link.