Helio Cuve



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Research interests

Dr Cuve’s research seeks to understand the socio-cognitive processes that support typical and atypical face-to-face interactions abilities. Specifically, the ability to access the inner world of others’ emotions, thoughts, and mental states by observing and responding to their behavior (face/body movement, kinematics, gaze).    Ultimately, this work aims to elucidate how the brain dynamically mobilises, controls, and adjusts the experiential aspects of our interaction with the social world. By probing psychophysiological, vision, and attention processes, he aims to learn what underlying mechanisms drive social difficulties in neuropsychiatric conditions (such as autism and depression). 
Dr Cuve's PhD research has highlighted significant individual differences in these processes which carry important implications for understanding clinical heterogeneity and underscore limitations of current normative models of social cognition.
Hélios future work seeks to integrate experimental work on social cognition, face/body communication, vision, and action to understand and predict successful and unsuccessful face-to-face interactions in real-world social networks (groups) and generate insights to help those who struggle (e.g., people with autism, depression).


Dr Cuve completed his undergraduate degree in Psychology in 2015 at the Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique before  moving to Portugal as a Camões Institute Scholar, for a postgraduate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Beira Interior. In 2016, Dr Cuve was awarded a US for a Fulbright Scholarship to complete a 2-year Masters in Experimental Psychology at the City University of New York. There, his research with Professor Yu Gao investigated “emotion recognition based on data-driven analyses of arousal and gaze markers”, as well as the relationships with subclinical traits (autism, alexithymia, anxiety).
In 2018, Dr Cuve moved to the University of Oxford in the UK, for his PhD in Experimental Psychology, supported by the Medical Sciences Division, Clarendon Fund, and Kendrew Fund (St Johns College). This program included a 3-year project supervised by Professor Geoffrey Bird and investigated the “Visual and Physiological Mechanisms Underlying Emotional Processing in Autism and Alexithymia”. In 2022, Dr Cuve joined the University of Birmingham after being awarded the first Experimental psychological Society Postdoctoral Fellowship. He will work with Dr Jennifer Cook at the Autism, social cognition and bodily movement lab, to develop a theoretical model that accounts for the rich, dynamic social signals conveyed by face movements, how they are encoded, and decoded in the typical and atypical brain. 


PhD in Experimental Psychology, Department of Experimental psychology, University of Oxford, UK
MA in Experimental Psychology, Brooklyn College, The City University of New York, USA
First Class BSc (Hons) Psychology, Eduardo Mondlane University, Mozambique

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Arts, City University of New York


Award Date: 1 Jun 2018

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Oxford

26 Sep 201813 Dec 2021

Bachelor of Science



  • BF Psychology
  • Social cognition
  • Emotion
  • Social Interaction
  • Face-to-face communication
  • Visual social attention
  • Psychophysiology
  • Autism


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