Contact person: Vibeke Dam

In the cognitive neuropsychology group at NRU, we use cognitive and psychometric data to investigate the relationship between brain function and human behaviour. Our aim is to identify psychological and cognitive characteristics that can help elucidate disease mechanisms in neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression, OCD, ADHD and epilepsy, and ultimately help improve patient treatment. We also investigate how cognitive performance relates to structural, functional and molecular features in the healthy brain, and how pharmacological interventions (e.g., oxytocin or SSRIs) and non-pharmacological exposures (e.g., sleep deprivation or psychotherapy) alters cognitive functioning.

We are highly specialized in neuropsychological testing and cover a wide range of cognitive domains including ‘cold’ emotion-independent functions such as general intelligence, executive functions, memory, processing speed, reaction time as well as ‘hot’ emotion-dependent functions such as reward-motivated decision-making, emotion recognition and complex social cognition. To complement our cognitive test data, we use questionnaire and interview data to create psychological profiles of mental health, psychosocial history, personality traits and attitudes and beliefs. Alongside cognitive testing and psychological assessments in ongoing studies at NRU, our group also routinely develops and validates new cognitive tasks and questionnaires.

The cognitive neuropsychology group consists of pre-graduate psychology and medical students as well as PhD students and post doctotal researchers. We have strong international collaborations, such as the Cambridge Cognition Group, and work with leading researchers in the field of cognitive neuroscience including Professors Barbara Sahakian and Trevor Robbins from Cambridge University, Professor Susannah Murphy from Oxford University, Professor Rebecca Elliott from Manchester University and Professors Marcus Munafo from Bristol University.

Examples of recent publications:

  • Köhler-Forsberg K, Dam VH, Ozenne B, Sankar A, Beliveau V, Landman EB, Larsen SV, Poulsen AS, Ip CT, Jørgensen A, Meyer M, Stenbæk DS, Eiberg HRL, Madsen J, Svarer C, Jørgensen MB, Frokjaer VG, Knudsen GM. Serotonin 4 Receptor Brain Binding in Major Depressive Disorder and Association With Memory Dysfunction. JAMA Psychiatry. 2023 Apr 1;80(4):296-304
  • Langley C, Armand S, Luo Q, Savulich G, Segerberg T, Søndergaard A, Pedersen EB, Svart N, Overgaard-Hansen O, Johansen A, Borgsted C, Cardinal RN, Robbins TW, Stenbæk DS, Knudsen GM, Sahakian BJ. Chronic escitalopram in healthy volunteers has specific effects on reinforcement sensitivity: a double-blind, placebo-controlled semi-randomised study. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2023 Mar;48(4):664-670
  • Dam VH, Stenbæk DS, Köhler-Forsberg K, Cheng Ip, Ozenne B, Sahakian BJ, Knudsen GM, Jørgensen MB, Frokjaer VG. Evaluating cognitive disturbances as treatment target and predictor of antidepressant action in major depressive disorder: A NeuroPharm study. Transl Psychiatry. 2022 Nov 8;12(1):468
  • Armand S, Ozenne B, Svart N, Frokjaer VG, Knudsen GM, Fisher PM, Stenbaek DS. Brain serotonin transporter is associated with cognitive-affective biases in healthy individuals. Hum Brain Mapp. 2022 Sep;43(13):4174-4184
  • Høgsted ES, Borgsted C, Dam VH, Nasser A, Rye Jørgensen N, Ozenne B, Stenbæk DS, Frokjaer VG. Stress-Hormone Dynamics and Working Memory in Healthy Women Who Use Oral Contraceptives Versus Non-Users. Front Endocrinol (Lausanne). 2021 Nov 8;12:731994
  • Dam VH, Stenbæk DS, Köhler-Forsberg K, Ip C, 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. Psychol Med. 2021 Oct;51(14):2347-2356
  • 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. Front Psychol. 2020 Jun 5;11:961
  • Dam VH, Thystrup CK, Jensen PS, Bland AR, Mortensen EL, Elliott R, Sahakian BJ, Knudsen GM, Frokjaer VG, Stenbæk DS. Psychometric Properties and Validation of the EMOTICOM Test Battery in a Healthy Danish Population. Front Psychol. 2019 Dec 3;10:2660