Stephen W. Porges, Ph.D.

Distinguished University Scientist

Founding Director, Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium

Dr. Stephen Porges' research intersects psychology, neuroscience, and evolutionary biology. Through his development of the Polyvagal Theory, Porges is discovering how the autonomic nervous system controls the reactions and behaviors of individuals affected by a wide-range of traumatic experiences, including sexual assault and partner violence, bullying, and the trauma associated with diagnoses and treatment of the reproductive system.

Currently, Porges is also the director of the Kinsey Institute Traumatic Stress Research Consortium, founded to address the life-changing affects and treatments around trauma. He is leading a team of collaborative researchers and clinicians from the Kinsey Institute and other partner institutions to document both the effects of trauma on people’s ability to form intimate relationships and the development of novel treatments to reverse its effects.
 (812) 855-7686

428 Lindley Hall
Indiana University
Bloomington, IN 47405


  • Ph.D., Psychology, Michigan State University
  • M.A, Psychology, Michigan State University
  • B.A., Psychology, Drew University

Research interests

  • Psychology
  • Neuroscience
  • Evolutionary biology
  • Trauma

Interviews and Presentations

View videos of Dr. Porges' interviews and presentations on polyvagal theory, neuroscience, and autonomic physiology here >>

Selected publications


Journal articles

  • Sullivan, M. B., Erb, M., Schmalzl, L., Moonaz, S., Noggle Taylor, J., & Porges, S. W. (2018). Yoga therapy and polyvagal theory: the convergence of traditional wisdom and contemporary neuroscience for self-regulation and resilience. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 12, 67.
  • Lucas, A.R., Klepin, H.D., Porges, S.W., Rejeski, W.J. (2018). Mindfulness-Based Movement: A Polyvagal Perspective. Integrative Cancer Therapies 17(1), 5-15.
  • Porges, S.W. & Carter, C.S. (2017). Polyvagal Theory and the Social Engagement System: Neurophysiological Bridge between Connectedness and Health. In P. Gerbarg & P. Muskin (Eds.), Complementary and Integrative Treatments in Psychiatric Practice. (pp. 291-310). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Association Publishing.
  • Porges, S.W., Peper, E. (2015). When saying no does not mean yes: Psychophysiological factors involved in date rape. Biofeedback, 43: 45-48.
  • Gray, L., Garza, E., Zageris, D., Heilman, K.J., & Porges, S.W. (2015). Sucrose and Warmth is Analgesic for Healthy Newborns: A Randomized Control Trial. Pediatrics, 135: e607-e614.
  • Porges, S.W. (2015). Play as neural exercise: Insights from the Polyvagal Theory. In D. Pearce-McCall (Ed.), The Power of Play for Mind Brain Health, (pp. 3-7). Available from
  • Carter, C.S., Porges, S.W. (2014). Peptide pathways to peace. Chapter 4. Strungmann Forum: In Pathways to Peace: The Transformative Power of Children and Families. Ed: J. F. Leckman, C. Panter-Brick and R. Salah. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA. Pp. 43-64.


  • Non-contact Extraction of Human Arterial Pulse Using a Digital Color Camera (with M Davila, GF Lewis). Submitted December, 2014.
  • Method and Apparatus for Evaluating Dynamic Middle Ear Muscle Activity (with GF Lewis). Patent Publication number: US20130303941 A1. December 13, 2013.
  • Method and Apparatus for Evaluating Rhythmic Oscillations in Aperiodic Physiological Response Systems. Patent Number: 4,510,944. April 16, 1985.

CV available upon request

Public Scholarship (Selected)

Interviews and Presentations

Tributaries Radio, March 24, 2019.

"The Nervous System Circuitry of Safety, Sound and Gratitude, Bulletproof Radio, March 9, 2019.

What Is the Polyvagal Theory?
PsychAlive, April 23, 2018.

IU Signature