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).

The Danish website for this project can be found here: www.ansigtsblind.dk 

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: Visions and Words.

Also see our Labpage www.psy.ku.dk/starrlab


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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. 168 p.

    Research output: Book/ReportBookResearchpeer-review

  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: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  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: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  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: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  5. Published

    Number reading in pure alexia - A review

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

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  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: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  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: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  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: Book/ReportAnthologyResearch

  9. Published

    The Good, the Bad, and the Average: Characterizing the Relationship Between Face and Object Processing Across the Face Recognition Spectrum

    Hendel, R. K., Starrfelt, R. & Gerlach, C., 2019, In : Neuropsychologia. 124, p. 274-284

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  10. Published

    Tests of whole upright face processing in prosopagnosia: A literature review

    Robotham, R. J. & Starrfelt, R., Dec 2018, In : Neuropsychologia. 121, p. 106-121 16 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

  11. Published

    Visual crowding in pure alexia and acquired prosopagnosia

    Sand, K., Robotham, R. J., Martelli, M. & Starrfelt, R., 3 Oct 2018, In : Cognitive Neuropsychology. 35, 7, p. 361-370 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  12. Published

    Reading in Developmental Prosopagnosia: Evidence for a Dissociation Between Word and Face Recognition

    Starrfelt, R., Klargaard, S., Petersen, A. & Gerlach, C., Mar 2018, In : Neuropsychology. 32, 2, p. 138-147 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  13. Published

    Face and Word Recognition Can Be Selectively Affected by Brain Injury or Developmental Disorders

    Robotham, R. J. & Starrfelt, R., 5 Sep 2017, In : Frontiers in Psychology. 8, p. 1-6 1547.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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