Nathaniel J. Thom, Ph.D.

Applied Health Science

Assistant Professor of Applied Health Science
On Faculty since 2013

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


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

American College of Sports Medicine

Society for Psychophysiology

Society for Neuroscience

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. 

Key Publications:

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 Neuroscience. 


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.