Nathaniel J. Thom, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Applied Health Science
On Faculty since 2013

Office: SCI 117
Phone: (630)752-7112
Fax: website:


Postdoctoral Fellowship, Operational Neuroscience, Naval Health Research Center - San Diego, 2009-2013

Ph.D. Exercise Science, University of Georgia, 2009

M.S. Exercise Science, University of Georgia, 2005

B.S. Biology, University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

Full Curriculum Vitae (PDF)

Courses Taught

  • AHS 371 - Clinical Kinesiology
  • AHS 381 - Epidemiology
  • AHS 101 - Wellness

Membership in Professional Societies

  • Society for Neuroscience
  • Society for Psychophysiological Research
  • American College of Sports Medicine

Research Interests

Broadly, I am interested in modifying factors that promote an adaptive response to stress. More specifically, I employ psycho-physiological and neuroimaging methods to better understand how physical and mental training programs alter brain-behavior relationships in ways that promote a healthy response to and recovery from stress. My research evaluating interventions to promote physical activity has also provided me with an interest in advanced statistical techniques including structural equation modeling, which I also employ when analyzing brain imaging data. For more information about Dr. Thom, please see  his personal website.

Key Publications

Johnson, D.C., Thom, N.J., Stanley, E.A., Haase, L., Shih, P.B., Thompson, W.K., Potterate, E.G., Minor, T.R., & Paulus, M.P. Modifying resilience mechanisms in at-risk individuals: A controlled study of mindfulness training in Marines preparing for deployment. (2014). American Journal of Psychiatry. (Impact factor: 14.7)

Haase, L., Thom, N.J., Shukla, A., Davenport, P.W., Simmons, A., Paulus, M.P. & Johnson, D.C. Mindfulness-based training attenuates insula response to an aversive challenge. (2014). Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience. (Impact factor: 6.8)

Thom, N.J.,Knight, J., Dishman, R.K., Sabatinelli, D., Johnson, D.C., & Clementz, B.A.  Emotional scenes elicit more pronounced self-reported emotional experience and greater EPN and LPP modulation when compared to emotional faces.  (2013).  Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral NeuroscienceArticle may be found here

Thom, N.J., Johnson, D.C., Flagan, T., Simmons, A.N., Gillis, K., Kotturi, S.,Van Orden, K.F., Potterat, E., Swain, J.L., & Paulus, M.P.  (2012) Detecting emotion in others:  increased insula and decreased medial prefrontal cortex activation during emotion processing in elite adventure racers. Social, Cognitive, and Affective Neuroscience.

Rooks, C.R.,Thom, N.J.,McCully, K., & Dishman, R.K.  (2010).  Effects of incremental exercise on cerebral oxygenation measured by near-infrared spectroscopy: a systematic review.  Progress in Neurobiology, 92(2), 134-150.

Dishman, R.K.,Thom, N.J., Puetz T.W., O’Connor, P.O., & Clementz, B.A.  (2010).   Effects of cycling exercise on vigor, fatigue and electroencephalographic activity among young adults who report persistent fatigue.  Psychophysiology, 47(6), 1066-1074.

Dishman, R.K., Thom, N.J., Rooks, C.R., Motl, R.W., Matthai, C.M., & Nigg, C.  (2009).  Failure of post-action stages of the transtheoretical model to predict change in regular physical activity: A multi-ethnic cohort study. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 37(3), 280-293.  

Media Center