Participate Today!

We are currently investigating food decision-making in children ages 8-12. Our study involves two in-person sessions over a two week period. If you are a parent with a child/children between the ages of 8 and 12 and would like to participate, please contact us at or call us at 816-302-3210

Our Work

The Bruce Neuroscience Cooperative includes experts from varying backgrounds including clinical psychology, cognitive neuroscience, economics, engineering, behavioral neuroscience, and neuropsychology. Using tools like functional magnetic resonance imaging, eye-tracking, experimental economics, traditional behavioral paradigms, and neuropsychological assessment, we aim to elucidate the process of human decision-making. While this is a daunting task, we focus on several specific aspects of the process of choice.

Health Decisions

Sustenance is one of our most basic needs. As you will read, many of our recent contributions are related to appetite, neurofunctional responses to food stimuli, and the neuroscience of food choices. 

Financial Decisions

Life in the developed world requires efficient, often fast decisions about what we want, when we want it, and how we will get it. An easy way to operationalize choice is through price decisions. In close collaboration with expert economists, we have used functional neuroimaging to better understand consumer decisions about food products. 

Social Decisions

How we make a decision for our own life may differ drastically from what we would choose for someone we love. We are beginning to explore these differences using self vs. other choice paradigms. 

Now or Later?

As a clinical psychologist, Dr. Bruce is dedicated to helping a person not only understand how s/he makes decisions, but whether that process is effective in achieving his/her goals. Delaying gratification (regardless of commodity) is an important skill, but why are there such vast individual differences in this ability? Why are some people impulsive while others able to wait years to accomplish a long-term goal? Scholars have discussed and debated these questions for years. Yet only recently do we have the ability to peer inside the decision-making process using advancing brain science. We know that if a person has cognitive control, self-regulation, and the ability to wait for a larger, more desirable outcome, this bodes well. Can we help those who lack these abilities to improve goal-directed thinking, improve emotional regulation, and achieve long-term goals? 

Our Partners

Our work would not be possible without the generous sponsorship and support of our partners.






1. Bruce, A.S. & Aloia, M.S. (2006). Sleep and cognition in older adults. In S. AncoliIsrael (Ed.), Sleep Medicine Clinics 1 (pp. 207-220). Philadelphia: Elsevier.

2. Aloia, M.S. & Bruce, A.S. (2007). Mood and behavior in Obstructive Sleep Apnea. In C. Kushida, (Ed.), Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Pathophysiology, Comorbidities, and Consequences, Volume 1. New York: Taylor & Francis.

3. Felver-Gant, J., Bruce, A.S., Zimmerman, M., Sweet, L., Millman, R.P., & Aloia, M.S. (2007). Working memory in Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Construct validity and treatment effects. Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, 3(6), 589-594.

4. Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., & Arnett, P.A. (2007). Mild visual acuity disturbances are associated with performance on tests of complex visual attention in MS. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 13, 544-548.

5. Bruce, A.S., Ray, W.J., Bruce, J.M., Arnett, P.A., Carlson, R.A. (2007). The Relationship between Executive Functioning and Dissociation. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29(6), 626-633.

6. Bruce, A.S., Ray, W.J., & Carlson, R.A. (2007). Understanding Cognitive Failures: What’s Dissociation got to do with it? The American Journal of Psychology, 120(4), 553-564.

7. Bruce, A.S., & Arnett, P.A. (2008). Longitudinal Study of the SCL-90 in MS Patients. The Clinical Neuropsychologist, 22(1), 46-59.

8. Bruce, A.S., Aloia, M.S., & Ancoli-Israel, S. (2009). Neuropsychological effects of hypoxia in medical disorders. In Grant, I. & Adams, K.M. (Eds.), Neuropsychological Assessment of Neuropsychiatric Disorders, 3rd Edition. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

9. Davis, A.M., Bruce, A.S., Mangiaracina, C., Schultz, T., & Hyman, P. (2009). Moving from tube to oral feeding in medically fragile non-verbal toddlers. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, 49, 233-236.

10. Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., & Arnett, P.A. (2010). Response variability is associated with self-reported cognitive fatigue in Multiple Sclerosis. Neuropsychology, 24(1), 77-83.

11. Bruce, J.M. Bruce, A.S., Hancock, L., Lynch, S. (2010). Self-reported memory problems in Multiple Sclerosis: Influence of psychiatric status and normative dissociative experiences. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology, 25(1), 39-48.

12. Martin, L.E., Holsen, L.M., Chambers, R., Bruce, A.S., Brooks, W.M., Zarcone, J.R., Butler, M.G., & Savage, C.R. (2010). Neural mechanisms associated with food motivation in obese and healthy weight adults. Obesity, 18(2), 254-260.

13. Davis, A.M., Bruce, A.S., Cocjin, J., Mousa, H., & Hyman, P. (2010). Empirically supported treatments for feeding difficulties in young children. Current Gastroenterology Reports, 12(3), 189-194.

14. Bruce, A.S., Holsen, L.M., Chambers, R., Martin, L., Brooks, W.M., Zarcone, J.R., Butler, M.G., & Savage, C.R. (2010). Obese children show hyperactivation to food pictures in brain networks linked to motivation and reward. International Journal of Obesity, 34, 1494-1500.

15. Bruce, A.S., Bruce, J.M., Schurle, B.W., Zereyesus, J., & James, R. (2011). Implications of neuroscience developments for teaching agriculture economics/agribusiness. North American Colleges & Teachers of Agriculture Journal, 55(3),49-53.

16. Bruce, A.S., Martin, L.E., & Savage, C.R. (2011). Neural correlates of pediatric obesity. Preventive Medicine, Suppl 1, S29-35.

17. Bruce, A.S., Black W.R., Bruce, J.M., Daldalian, M., Martin, L.E., & Davis, A.M. (2011). Ability to delay gratification and body mass index in preadolescence. Obesity, 19(5), 1101-1102.

18. Holsen L.M., Savage, C.R., Martin, L.E., Bruce, A.S., Lepping, R.J., Ko, E., Brooks, W.M., Butler, M.G., Zarcone, J.R., & Goldstein, J.M. (2012). Importance of reward and prefrontal inhibitory circuitry in hunger and satiety: Prader-Willi Syndrome vs. simple obesity. International Journal of Obesity 36(5), 638-647.

19. Bruce, J.M., Hancock, L., Bruce, A.S., Lepping, R.J., Martin, L.E., Lundgren J., Holsen, L.M., Savage, C.R. (2012). Changes in brain activation to food pictures following adjustable banding surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases, 8(5), 602-608.

20. Davis A.M., Bruce A.S., Khasawneh R., Schulz T., Fox C., Dunn W. (2013). Sensory processing issues in young children presenting to an outpatient feeding clinic: A retrospective chart review. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. 56(2):156-60.

21. Bruce, A.S., Lepping, R.J., Bruce, J.M., Cherry, J.B.C., Martin, L.E., Davis, A.M., Brooks, W.M., Savage, C.R. (2013). Brain responses to food logos in obese and healthy weight children. The Journal of Pediatrics 162(4), 759-764.

22. Bruce, A.S., Bruce, J.M., Black, W.R., Lepping, R.J., Henry, J.M., Cherry, J.B.C., Martin, L.E., Papa, V.B., Davis, A.M., Brooks, W.M., Savage, C.R. (2014). Branding and a child’s brain: an fMRI study of neural responses to logos. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 9(1), 118-122.

23. *Thelen, J.M., Lynch, S.G., Bruce, A.S., Hancock, L.M., & Bruce, J.M. (2014). Polypharmacy in multiple sclerosis: Relationship with fatigue, perceived cognition, and objective cognitive performance. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 76(5), 400-404. 

24. Jarmolowicz, D.P., Cherry, J.B.C., Reed, D.D., Bruce, J.M., Crespi, J.M., Lusk, J.L., & Bruce, A.S. (2014). Robust relation between temporal discounting rates and body
mass. Appetite, 78, 63-67.

25. *Black, W.R., *Lepping, R.L., Bruce, A.S., Powell, J.N., Bruce, J.M., Martin, L.E., Davis, A.M., Brooks, W.M., Savage, C.R., & Simmons, W.K. (2014). Tonic hyperconnectivity of reward neurocircuitry in obese children. Obesity 22, 1590-1593. doi:10.1002/oby.20741

26. Bruce, A.S., Lusk, J.L., Crespi, J.M., Cherry, J.B.C., Bruce, J.M., McFadden, B.R., Savage, C.R., Brooks, W.M., & Martin L.E. (2014). Consumer brain responses to controversial food technologies and price. Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology, and Economics, 7(3),164-173. doi: 10.1037/npe0000023

27. Bruce, A.S., Bruce, J.M., Ness, A.R., Lepping, R.J., Malley, S., Powell, J.N., Patrician, T., Breslin, F., Martin, L.E., Donnelly, J.E., Brooks, W.M., & Savage, C.R. (2014). Functional brain changes associated with surgical versus behavioral weight loss. Obesity, 22(2), 337-343. (PMID 24115765).

28. Lusk, J.L., Crespi, J.M., Cherry, J.B.C., McFadden, B.R., Martin, L.E., & Bruce, A.S. (2015). An fMRI Investigation of Consumer Choice Regarding Controversial Food Technologies. Food Quality and Preferences.

29. *Hancock, L.M., Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., Lynch, S.G. (in press). Processing speed and working memory training in Multiple Sclerosis: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

30. Lim, S.L. & Bruce, A.S. (in press). Can’t wait to lose weight? Characterizing temporal discounting parameters for weight-loss. Appetite.

31. *Ness A.R., Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., Aupperle, R.L., Lepping, R.L., Martin, L.E., Hancock, L., Patrician, T., Malley, S., Selim, N., & Savage, C.R. (in press). Pre-surgical cortical activation to food pictures is associated with weight loss following bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases.

32. Lim, S.L., Bruce, A.S., & Aupperle, R.L. (in press). The influence of a working memory task on affective perception of facial expressions. PLoS ONE

33. Ness A.R., Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., Aupperle, R.L., Lepping, R.L., Martin, L.E., Hancock, L., Patrician, T., Malley, S., Selim, N., & Savage, C.R. (2014). Pre-surgical cortical activation to food pictures is associated with weight loss following bariatric surgery. Surgery for Obesity and Related Diseases 10, 1188-1195.

 34. Lusk, J.L., Crespi, J.M., Cherry, J.B.C., McFadden, B.R., Martin, L.E., & Bruce, A.S. (2015). An fMRI Investigation of Consumer Choice Regarding Controversial Food Technologies. Food Quality and Preferences 40, 209-220.

35. Hancock, L.M., Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., Lynch, S.G. (2015). Processing speed and working memory training in Multiple Sclerosis: A double-blind randomized controlled trial. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology.

 36. Lim, S.L. & Bruce, A.S. (2015). Can’t wait to lose weight? Characterizing temporal discounting parameters for weight-loss. Appetite 85, 8-13.

37. McFadden B.R., Lusk, J.L., Crespi, J.M., Cherry, J.B.C., Martin, L.E., Aupperle, R.L.,  Bruce, A.S. (2015).  Can neural activation in dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predict responsiveness to information? An application to egg production systems and Proposition 2 advertising. Plos ONE. PMID: 26018592

38. Edwards, S., Davis, A.M., Bruce, A.S., Mousa, H., Cocjin, J., Dean, K., Ernst, L, Almadoun, O., & Hyman, P. (2015). Caring for Tube-Fed Children: A review of management, tube weaning, and emotional considerations. Journal of Enteral and Parenteral Nutrition. PMID: 25791833

39. Lim, S.L. & Bruce, A.S. (2015). Prospect theory and body mass: Characterizing psychological parameters for risk aversion and loss aversion. Frontiers in Psychology. PMID:25852628

40. Lepping, R.J., Bruce, A.S., Francisco, A., Yeh, H.W., Martin, L.E., Powell, J.N., Hancock, L., Patrician, T.M., Breslin, F.J., Selim, N., Donnelly, J.E., Brooks, W.M., Savage, C.R., Simmons, W.K., & Bruce, J.M. (2015). Changes in resting state functional brain connectivity associated with surgical versus behavioral weight loss. Obesity 23(7), 1422-1428PMID:26053145

41. Bruce, A.S., Davis, A.M., Baum, C.F., Chepolis, D., Kolomensky, A., Monagas, J., Almadhoun, O., & Hyman, P. (2015). Retrospective study of gabapentin for poor oral feeding in infants with congenital heart disease. Global Pediatric Health, 1-3.

42Bruce, A.S., Lim, S.L., Smith, T.R., Cherry, J.B.C., Black, W.R., Davis, A.M., & Bruce, J.M. (2015). Apples or Candy? Internal and external influences on children’s food choices. Appetite 93, 31-34. PMID:25937512

43. Edwards, S., Davis, A.M., Ernst, L, Sitzmann, B., Bruce, A.S.,  Keeler, D., Almadhoun, O., Mousa, H., & Hyman, P. (2015). Interdisciplinary strategies for treating oral aversions in children. Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 39(8): 899-909

44. *Francisco, A.J., Lim, S.L., Crespi, J.M., Bruce, J.M., Lusk, J.L., McFadden, M., Aupperle, R.L., & Bruce, A.S. (2015). Are consumers are constrained as hens are confined? Brain activations and behavioral choices after informational influence. Journal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization 13(1), 113-119.

45. Bruce, A.S., Crespi, J.M., & Lusk, J.L. (2015). The behavioral and neuroeconomics of food and brand decisions: Executive summary. Journal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization 13(1), 1-4.

46Crespi, J.M., Lusk, J.L., Cherry, J.B.C., Martin, L.E., McFadden, B.R., & Bruce, A.S. (2015). Neural Activations Associated with Decision-Time and Choice in a Milk Labeling Experiment. American Journal of Agricultural Economics 98,74-91.

47. Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., Catley, D., Lynch, S., Goggin, K., Reed, D., Lim, S.L., Strober, L., Glusman, M., Ness, A.R., Jarmolowicz, D.P. (2016). Being kind to your future self: probability discounting of health decision-making. Annals of Behavioral Medicine 50(2), 297-309.

48Bruce, J., Bruce, A., Lynch, S., Strober, L., O’Bryan, S., Sobotka, D., Thelen, J., Ness, A., Glusman, M., Goggin, K., Bradley-Ewing, A., Catley, D. (2016). A pilot study to improve adherence among MS patients who discontinue treatment against medical advice. Journal of Behavioral Medicine 39(2), 276-287. 

49. Davis A.M., Dean, K., Mousa, H., Edwards, S., Cocjin J., Almadhoun, O., He, J., Sun, S., Bruce, A.S., Hyman, P.E. (2016). A randomized controlled trial of an outpatient protocol for moving children from tube to oral feeding: No need for amitriptyline. The Journal of Pediatrics 172, 136-41.

50. Lim, S.L., Cherry, J.B.C., Davis, A.M., Balakrishnan, S.N., Ha, O.R., Bruce, J.M., & Bruce, A.S. (2016). The child’s brain computes and utilizes internalized maternal choices. Nature Communications, May 24;7:11700

51. Bruce, A.S., Pruitt, S.W., Ha, O.R., Smith, T.R., Cherry, J.B.C., Bruce, J.M., & Lim, S.L. Television food commercials influence children’s food choices and ventromedial prefrontal cortex activations. (2016). The Journal of Pediatrics 177, 27-32

52. Ha, O.R., Bruce, A.S., Pruitt, S.W., Smith, T.R., Burkart D., Cherry J.B.C., Bruce, J.M., Lim, S.L. Healthy eating decisions require efficient inhibitory self-control in children: A MouseTracking food decision study. (2016). Appetite 10.

53Lusk JL, Crespi JM, McFadden BR, Cherry JBC, Martin L, & Bruce A. (2016). Neural antecedents of a random utility model. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization 132, 93-103.

54. Jarmolowicz DP, Reed DD, Bruce AS, Catley D, Lynch S, Goggin K, Lim SL, Strober L, Glusman M., Norouzinia AN, & Bruce JM. (2016). Using EP50 to forecast treatment adherence in individuals with multiple sclerosis. Behavioral Processes 132, 94-99.

55. *Thelen, J., Lynch, S., Catley, D., Goggin, K., Bruce, A.S., Bradley-Ewing, A., Glusman, M., Norouzinia, A., & Bruce, J.M. (2017). Baseline predictors of DMT re-initiation among patients with multiple sclerosis following an MI-CBT intervention. Journal of Behavioral medicine.

56. Jarmolowicz, D., Bruce, J.M., Lim, S.L., Bruce A.S.  (2017). On how patients with multiple sclerosis weigh severity of side effects and benefits when making treatment decisions. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology 25(6), 479-484.

57. Smith, J., Bruce, A.S., Glusman, M., Thelen, J., Lynch, S., & Bruce, J.M. (2017). Determining reliable chance on the modified fatigue impact scale (5-item version). Multiple Sclerosis and related disorders.

58. Lim, S.L., Penrod, M.T., Ha, O., Bruce, J.M., & Bruce, A.S. (2018). Calorie labeling promotes dietary self-control by shifting the temporal dynamics of health and taste attribute integration in overweight individuals. Psychological Science 29(3), 447-462.

59. *Abidi, M., Bruce, J.M., Bruce, A.S., Leblanche, A., Jarmolowicz, D.P., Csillik, A., Thai, J., Lim, S.L., & deMarco, G. (in press). Neuroeconomic mechanisms associated with treatment decision-making: an fMRI study. Behavioral Brain Research.

60. Jarmolowicz, D.P., Reed, D.D., Francisco, A., Bruce, J.M., Lemley, S.M., & Bruce, A.S. (in press). Modeling Effects of Risk and Social Distance on Vaccination Choice. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior.

61. *Glusman, M., Bruce, A.S., Thelen, J., Smith, J., Lynch, S., Catley, D., Bennett, K., & Bruce, J.M. (in press). Discontinuing treatment against medical advice: The role of perceived autonomy support from providers in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis. Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

62. Keller KL & Bruce, AS. (in press). Neurocognitive influences on eating behaviors in children. Chapter in Lumeng J, Editor, Pediatric Food Preferences and Eating Behaviors.

63. Jarmolowicz DP, Reed, DD, Bruce AS, Lynch S, Smith J, & Bruce JM. (in press). Modeling effects of side effect probability, side effect severity, and medication efficacy on patients with multiple sclerosis medication choice. Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology.


* Denotes student author