Academic staff – University of Copenhagen

Department of Psychology > Academic staff

Claus Bundesen

Claus Bundesen

Primary fields of research

Every moment our eyes receive a massive, constantly changing set of inputs. Visual attention is the psychological function that selects the most important part of this information for consciousness and action. The study of attention is a classical research area, often considered one of the fundamental issues in psychology. Previous decades have seen much progress in this field. An important step was taken at the Center for Visual Cognition of the University of Copenhagen as Bundesen (1990) presented a Theory of Visual Attention (TVA) that integrated a large part of the existing theoretical and empirical knowledge. A main strength of TVA is its cognitive specificity: The theory partitions attentional function into different model parameters that can be precisely measured in psychological tests. Such accuracy is vital for assessing attention disturbances after brain damage, a clinical application of TVA that has been taken up by research groups around Europe. Over the past several decades, TVA has been developed in a book at Oxford University Press (Bundesen & Habekost, 2008) and a number of journal articles including five large articles in the Psychological Review[1] with steadily growing impacts (Bundesen, 1990; Bundesen, Habekost, & Kyllingsbæk, 2005; Logan, 1996, 2002; Logan & Gordon, 2001). One of the world's most influential attention scientists, John Duncan (Deputy Director of MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge), even claims that TVA is now "... without question, the field's leading account of attentional functions ...". Bundesen et al. (2005) demonstrated a close analogy between the central equations of TVA and the activity of individual neurons in the visual system of the brain, and TVA represents a unifying mathematical frame for understanding attention across psychology and neurophysiology.

[1] Probably the most highly distinguished journal in psychology.


Bundesen teaches cognitive psychology at all levels. His current PhD students are Bart Cooreman and Chiron Oderkerk, both under the Marie Curie EU project INDIREA, 2014-2017. Cooreman's project focuses on "TVA analysis of ADHD". Oderkerk's project focuses on "TVA combined with EEG analysis of ADHD".

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