Contact person: Dea S. Stenbæk

The NRU neuropsychology group aims to investigate how serotonin is involved in psychological components of human health. Especially it focuses on personality, psychopathology and cognition - and furthermore on neuropsychological effects of serotonergic pharmacology such as effects of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and serotonin 2A receptor psychedelic agonists. The scientific goal of the neuropsychology group is to contribute to an interdisciplinary understanding of neurobiological and psychological factors in human health. This is attained by studying both healthy individuals and patients with various somatic and psychiatric disorders to evaluate risk and resilience factors and how these change in response to treatment.

As a core facility, the neuropsychology group conducts a wide range of cognitive tests and psychological assessments across ongoing studies at NRU. These yield important characterizations of domains such as intelligence, personality, mental health, executive function, cognitive flexibility, inhibition, attention, working memory, episodic memory, affective processing, word fluency, and psychomotor speed. Furthermore, the neuropsychology group develops and validates new cognitive tests and questionnaires related to serotonergic mechanisms in the brain. These span domains such as affective episodic memory, affective cognition, social and reward-related cognition and psychedelic therapy. Beyond traditional cognitive tests, the group also utilizes functional neuroimaging to study cognition and brain-behavior relationships.

The neuropsychology group consists of both pre-graduate psychology students and post-graduate PhD students and post docs. It houses interns and students from all Danish Universities and also welcomes students from abroad. The group collaborates with the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, including Professors David Nutt and David Erritzoe, and the Cambridge Cognition Group, including Professor Rebecca Elliott from Manchester University and Professors Barbara Sahakian and Trevor Robbins from Cambridge University. It furthermore collaborates closely with Department of Psychology, Copenhagen University.

Examples of recent publications:

  • Stenbæk DS, Madsen, MK, Ozenne B, Kristiansen S, Burmester D, Erritzoe D, Knudsen GM, Fisher PM. Brain serotonin 2A receptor binding predicts subjective temporal and mystical effects of psilocybin in healthy humans. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2020 August.
  • Wagner MK, Berg SK, Hassager C, Armand S, Møller JE, Rasmussen TB, Fisher PM, Knudsen GM, Stenbæk DS. Cognitive impairments and psychopathology in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest survivors in Denmark: The REVIVAL cohort study protocol. British Medical Journal open. 2020 August.
  • Hjordt LV, Ozenne B, Armand S, Dam VH, Jensen CG, Köhler-Forsberg K, Knudsen GM, Stenbæk DS. Psychometric properties of the Verbal Affective Memory Test-26 and evaluation of affective biases in Major Depressive Disorder. Frontiers in Psychology. 2020 April.
  • Dam VH, Stenbæk DS, Köhler-Forsberg K, Cheng-Teng I, Ozenne B, Sahakian BJ, Knudsen GM, Jørgensen MB, Frokjaer VG. Hot and cold cognitive disturbances in antidepressant-free patients with Major Depressive Disorder: a Neuropharm study. Psychological Medicine. 2020 March.
  • Dam V, Thylstrup C, Jensen P, Bland A, Mortensen EL, Sahakian B, Elliott B, Knudsen GM, Frøkjær VG, Stenbæk DS. Psychometric properties and validation of the EMOTICOM test battery in a healthy Danish population. Frontiers in Psychology. 2019 Nov.
  • Stenbæk DS, Kristiansen S, Korsbak M, Burmeister D, Knudsen GM, Fisher PM. Personality trait Openness to experience and brain serotonin 2A receptors in healthy volunteers: A positron emission tomography study. Human Brain Mapping. 2018 Dec.