Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

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Department of Psychology > Academic staff

Randi Starrfelt

Randi Starrfelt

Professor with special responsibilities

Primary fields of research

I am currently involved in two major research projects

I. Faceblindness (congenital prosopagnosia)

This project deals with congenital deficits in face recognition; "prosopagnosia", popularly called face blindness. It is estimated that about 2% of the population suffers from great difficulties in recognising faces, even the faces of people they know well. This has only recently become a topic of scientific investigation, and still little is known about the cause of this deficit. 

This project is a collaboration between severeal departments at Danish universities (University of Southern Denmark and UCPH). The project is supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research - Humanities. (PI: Professor Christian Gerlach, SDU).


II. The Back of the Brain - project

In this project we investigate the neuropsychological deficits associated with damage to posterior areas in the brain, with particular emphasis on deficits in face, object, and word recognition. We will also investigate the relationship between these functions in normal subjects. The project is a collaboration with University College London and University of Manchester.

This project is funded by a Sapere Aude - DFF Starting Grant from the Danish Council for Indpendent Research.

Read about our previous projects here.

Research project Visions and Words.



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New book: A. Leff & R. Starrfelt. Alexia: Diagnosis, Treatment and Theory. London: Springer Verlag.

This book is a comprehensive review of the main acquired disorders of reading: hemianopic, pure and central alexia. We review the diagnostic criteria for each of the different types of disorder, and the efficacy of the therapeutic studies that have attempted to remediate them. The different theoretical models of adult reading, which largely rest on how the reading system responds to injury, are also discussed and evaluated. Read more at the publisher's website.


Major grants:

2015-2019 Sapere Aude starting grant, Danish Research Council: The Back of the Brain (BoB): A new approch to cerebral specialisation of perceptual functions. DKK 5.653.429,-

2014-2018 Danish Research Council | Humanities: On the relations between face, word and object recognition: A new and developmental perspective. In collaboration with Professor C. Gerlach, University of Southern Denmark. DKK 5.836.111

2012-2014: Sapere Aude - Young research talent, Danish Research Council: DKK 1.004.422

2012-2014: Post doctoral grant, Danish Research Council | Humanities: Piecing it together: Perceptual processes in visual word recognition. DKK 2.636,838



Teaching: Coordinator main teacher on the MA-programme in Neuropsychology [Lecture series, seminars, practical seminars]. Cognitive psychology (BA level).

Supervision: MA-theses and PhDs in neuropsychology, cognitive (neuro)science, (neuro)psychiatry.

Current PhD-students: Julia Robotham (BoB-project); Solja K. Klargaard (prosopagnosia, SDU); Christina D. Kühn (prosopagnosia, SDU).


Fields of interest

Cognitive neuropsychology, in particular visual deficits and language disorders following acquired brain damage.

Selected publications

  1. Published

    Alexia: Diagnosis, Treatment and Theory

    Leff, A. & Starrfelt, R. 2014 London: Springer Science+Business Media B.V.168 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewBook

  2. Published

    What’s in a name?: The characterisation of pure alexia

    Starrfelt, R. & Shallice, T. 2014 In : Cognitive Neuropsychology. 31, 5-6, p. 367–377 11 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  3. Published

    Rehabilitation of pure alexia: A review

    Starrfelt, R., Ólafsdóttir, R. R. & Arendt, I-M. 2013 In : Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. 23, 5, p. 755-779 25 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  4. Published

    Don't words come easy? A psychophysical exploration of word superiority

    Starrfelt, R., Petersen, A. & Vangkilde, S. A. 2013 In : Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. 7, 519

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  5. Published

    Number reading in pure alexia - A review

    Starrfelt, R. & Behrmann, M. Jul 2011 In : Neuropsychologia. 49, 9, p. 2283-98

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  6. Published

    Too little, too late: Reduced visual span and speed characterize pure alexia.

    Starrfelt, R., Habekost, T. & Leff, A. P. 2009 In : Cerebral Cortex. 19, 12, p. 2880-2890

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  7. Published

    The Visual What For Area: Words and pictures in the left fusiform gyrus

    Starrfelt, R. & Gerlach, C. 2007 In : NeuroImage. 35, 1, p. 334-342 8 p.

    Research output: Research - peer-reviewJournal article

  8. Published

    Klinisk neuropsykologi

    Gade, A. (ed.), Gerlach, C. (ed.), Starrfelt, R. (ed.) & Møller Pedersen, P. (ed.) 2009 1 ed. København: Frydenlund Academic. 593 p.

    Research output: ResearchAnthology

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