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Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Paul Bolls

  1. Director of Research Laboratories
  2. Co-Director Murrow Media Mind Lab
  3. Professor
LocationGoertzen Hall 245



Dr. Paul Bolls has over 30 years of experience conducting research on how the human mind/brain processes and responds to media content and technology. He is internationally recognized for his expertise in Media Psychophysiology/Neuroscience, a scientific paradigm for investigating brain processes that produce media effects. His research has spanned almost all forms of media content including, advertising, health communication, politics, news, and entertainment. Dr. Bolls has helped train researchers and set up academic and industry research labs in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. He has worked as a Neuromarketing industry consultant since 2012. Clients he has worked with include market research companies as well as NBC-Universal, VISA, and Disney Parks. Dr. Bolls is Montana boy at heart enjoying fly fishing on Montana trout streams whenever possible.


  • B.S. May, 1993. Montana State University – Bozeman
    (Major: Communication Studies)
  • M.A. May, 1995. Washington State University – Pullman
    (Major: Communication Research)
  • Ph.D. August, 1999. Indiana University – Bloomington
    (Major: Mass Communication, Minor: Cognitive Science)

Research Interests

  • Applied Neuromarketing Content Testing
  • Brain Processes Underlying Media Effects
  • Health Communication
  • Political Media
  • Psychology of Entertainment

Selected Publications

Download CV

Lee, Y-I., Lee, Y., & Bolls, P. D., (2023). Media psychophysiology and strategic communication: A scientific paradigm for advancing theory and research grounded in evolutionary psychology. International Journal of Strategic Communication, 17(3), 181-198.

Prettyman, D. V., & Bolls, P. D. (2021). The Effects of Sex-Type, the Sex of the Avatar, and Salience of the Sex of the Avatar on Emotional Valence and Arousal. Frontiers in Psychology, 12, 659547.

Mas, L., Bolls, P. D., Rodero, E., Barreda-Angeles, M., Churchill, A. (2020). The impact of the sonic logo’s acoustic features on orienting responses, emotions and brand personality transmission. Journal of Product and Brand Management, 30(5), 740-753.

Zhu, D., Johnson, E. K., Bolls, P.D. (2020). Platform and Proximity: Audience Responses to Crime News on Desktop Computers and Smartphones. Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 64(3), 438-458.

Bolls, P. D., Weber, R., Lang, A., & Potter, R. F. (2019). Media psychophysiology and neuroscience: Bringing brain science into media processes and effects research. Media effects: Advances in theory and research, 195-210.

Howell, M., Ekman, D.S., Almond, A., & Bolls, P.D. (2019). Switched on: How the timing of aversive content in traffic safety videos impact psychophysiological indicators of message processing, Health Communication, 34(13), 1663-1672.

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