Neuropsychology

Contact person: Dea S. Stenbæk

The NRU cognition unit (NRU-C) specializes in research on relationships between the brain's serotonergic system, stress-regulation and affective cognition. The scientific goal is to contribute to an interdisciplinary understanding of neurobiological and psychological factors in human health. NRU-C focuses on studying healthy individuals but the research also involves participants with psychological distress, psychopathological symptoms or disorders, such as work-related stress, depression or PTSD.

As a core facility, the NRU-C conducts a standardized, three-hour battery of neuropsychological tests with most participants in Cimbi-II research projects. The battery yields important characterizations of neuropsycholocial functionality such as intelligence, personality, word fluency, working memory, psychomotor speed, and reaction time measures. Furthermore, the NRU-C laboratory has developed and validated the first Danish test of affective memory and also employs computerized tests of inhibition, emotional recognition, visual attention and affective priming.

The NRU-C laboratory has psychophysiological test facilities where heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, electrodermal activity and the eye blink reflex can be sampled during resting state, and also a growing number of computerized test paradigms synchronized with the physiological samplings. NRU-C collaborates with the Centre for Visual Cognition at the University of Copenhagen.

Examples of recent publications:

  • Jensen CG, Niclasen J, Vangkilde SA, Petersen A, Hasselbalch SG. General Inattentiveness Is a Long-Term Reliable Trait Independently Predictive of Psychological Health: Danish Validation Studies of the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale. Psychol Assess. 2016 May;28(5):e70-87
  • Stenbæk DS, Fisher PM, Budtz-Jørgensen E, Pinborg A, Hjordt LV, Jensen PS, Knudsen GM, Frokjaer VG. Sex hormone manipulation slows reaction time and increases labile mood in healthy women. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 2016 Feb 26;68:39-46
  • Stenbæk DS, Einarsdottir HS, Goregliad-Fjeallingsdal T, Knudsen GM, Frokjaer VG, Hasselbalch SG. Evaluation of acute tryptophan depletion and sham depletion with a gelatin-based collagen peptide protein mixture. Eur Neuropsychopharmacol. 2016 Jan;26(1):147-9
  • Jensen CG, Lansner J, Petersen A, Vangkilde SA, Ringkøbing SP, Frokjaer VG, Adamsen D, Knudsen GM, Denninger JW, Hasselbalch SG. Open and Calm--a randomized controlled trial evaluating a public stress reduction program in Denmark. BMC Public Health. 2015 Dec 16;15:1245
  • Jensen CG, Vangkilde S, Frokjaer V, Hasselbalch SG. Mindfulness training affects attention--or is it attentional effort? J Exp Psychol Gen. 2012 Feb;141(1):106-23
  • Stenbæk DS, Toftager M, Hjordt LV, Jensen PS, Holst KK, Bryndorf T, Holland T, Bogstad J, Pinborg A, Hornnes P, Frokjaer VG. Mental distress and personality in women undergoing GnRH agonist versus GnRH antagonist protocols for assisted reproductive technology. Hum Reprod. 2015 Jan;30(1):103-10
  • Stenbæk DS, Jensen CG, Holst KK, Mortensen EL, Knudsen GM, Frokjaer VG. Does Harm Avoidance mediate effects of recollected parental bonding on mental distress in adulthood? Compr Psychiatry. 2014 May;55(4):1007-14
  • Stenbæk DS, Hjordt LV, Haahr ME, Worm D, Hansen DL, Mortensen EL, Knudsen GM. Personality characteristics in surgery seeking and non-surgery seeking obese individuals compared to non-obese controls. Eat Behav. 2014 Dec;15(4):595-8