StarrLab: Neuropsychology, reading, and face recognition
StarrLab is a research group working on neuropsychological aspects of visual recognition, with a focus on reading and face recognition. We conduct experimental and brain imaging studies of the effects of brain injury and neurodevelopmental disorders on cognition, and experimental studies with neurotypical participants.
StarrLab is led by Professor Randi Starrfelt.
Our aim is to understand how visual recognition is organized in the brain, by studying participants in whom these processes have in some way broken down, in particular patients with aquired reading disorders (alexia) and people with prosopagnosia (‘face blindness’). We work with researchers from different fields both in Denmark and internationally.
Professor Randi Starrfelt
- Doctor Psychologiae, 2018
- PhD in psychology, 2008
- Specialist in clinical neuropsychology, 2007
- MSc psych. 2000
- 2017 - : Professor (mso)
- 2013 - 2017: Associate Professor, Dept. of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
- 2011- 2013: Assistant professor, Dept. of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
- 2008 - 2011: Post.doc., Center for Visual Cognition, Dept. of Psychology, University of Copenhagen (Center of Excellence)
- 2005-2008: PhD student, Center for Visual Cognition, Dept. of Psychology, University of Copenhagen
- 2001-2004: Neuropsychologist, Hillerød Hospital, Denmark.
- 2000-2001: Psychologist/Research associate, Rogaland psychiatric hospital, Stavanger, Norway.
Organisation / Administration
- 2018 - : Member of the Academic Council, Faculty of Social Sciences
- 2014-2017: Union representative (Danish Psychological Association) at Dept. of Psychology
- 2003-2012: International representantive, Danish Neuropsychological Society
- 2003-2006: President, Danish Neuropsychological Society
- 2002-2007: Board member, Danish Neuropsychological Society
- Thorudottir, S., Sigurdardottir, H. M., Rice, G. E., Kerry, S. J., Robotham, Ro Julia, Leff, A. P. & Starrfelt, Randi, 2020. The Architect Who Lost the Ability to Imagine: The Cerebral Basis of Visual Imagery. Brain Sciences.
- Gerlach, C., Klargaard, S. K., Alnæs, D., Kolskår, K. K., Karstoft, J., Westlye, L. T. & Starrfelt, Randi, 2019. Left hemisphere abnormalities in developmental prosopagnosia when looking at faces but not words. Brain Communications.
- Hansen, Klaus & Starrfelt, Randi, 2019. Pure Alexia: A Combined First-Person Account and Neuropsychological Investigation. Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology.
- Gerlach, C., Hendel, Rebecca Thea Kjærgaard & Starrfelt, Randi, 2019. The good, the bad, and the average: Characterizing the relationship between face and object processing across the face recognition spectrum. Neuropsychologia.
For the full lists of publications, see:
The Back of the Brain project (BoB) is concerned with visual and cognitive deficits following stroke to posterior brain areas. This is a large, collaborative project, with key partners at University College London, University of Cambridge, and University of Manchester.
The aim of the project is to move beyond simple correlations between selective deficits in visual recognition (like pure alexia and prosopagnosia) and the corresponding lesions, and take a broader perspective on the deficits seen following lesions to posterior cortical areas. The project aims to bridge, integrate, and re(de)fine theories of visual recognition of different categories: words, objects, and faces. To achieve this aim, we have developed new experimental paradigms, and combine methods from neuropsychological single case approaches and experimental psychology with a large sample size, and high-resolution brain imaging.
This project is funded by a Sapere Aude - DFF Starting Grant from the Danish Council for Indpendent Research.
This project is in its concluding phase.
As part of this project, we have developed a freely available screening test for visual field deficits. Download the test here.
This project is about “face blindness”, or developmental prosopagnosia, as it is also called. 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 occurs in the absence of brain injury, other cognitive abilities are typically unaffected, and the face recognition problem is present throughout their lives. This has only recently become a topic of scientific investigation, and still little is known about the cause of this deficit. Using neuropsychological and experimental methods, as well as brain imaging, we investigate patterns of perceptual and cognitive performance in developmental prosopagnosia and normal controls. In addition, we investigate face recognition performance in a much more well known developmental disorder: developmental dyslexia, in order to learn more about the relationship between reading and face recognition. We are also interested in people with superior face recognition.
This project is a collaboration between several departments at Danish universities (University of Southern Denmark and UCPH), as well as NORMENT at the University of Oslo, Norway. The project is supported by the Danish Council for Independent Research - Humanities. (PI: Professor Christian Gerlach, SDU).
This project is in its concluding phase. Follow the output from the study on ResearchGate.
Are you faceblind? If you want to participate or learn more about our project you can read more about it here.
The Pure alexia symposium took place in Copenhagen on 15 - 17 May 2013. It was funded by the Sapere Aude programme: Independent Research Fund Denmark.
I had the fortune of working with Tim Shallice to organize an expert symposium about pure alexia in Copenhagen in 2013. 28 scientists working with reading and alexia gathered for three days discussing recent findings in pure alexia research and how the research field may move forward towards a better understanding of reading and visual word recognition. The conference resulted in a special issue of the journal Cognitive Neuropsychology. In the introductory paper, Tim Shallice and I discuss how pure alexia has been and should be defined. The paper is freely available here.
See images, stories, abstracts and more here: Pure alexia meeting Copenhagen.
- Jason Barton, Professor, PhD, Dept of Neuro-opthalmology, University of British Columbia, Canada.
- Marlene Behrmann, Professor, PhD, Dept. of Psychology, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
- Matt Lambon-Ralph, Professor, PhD, Cognition & Brain Sciences Unit, University of Cambridge, UK
- Alex Leff, MD, Ph.D., Professor, Institute of Neurology, University College, London, UK
- Marialuisa Martelli, Associate professor, PhD, University of Rome - La Sapienza, Italy
- Heida Maria Sigurdardottir, Assistant professor, PhD, & Arni Kristjansson, Professor, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Reykjavik, Iceland
- Kathleen Vancleef, PhD, Postdoctoral fellow, Medical Science Division, University of Oxford, UK
- Lars Tjelta Westlye, Professor, PhD, Dept. of Psychology, University of Oslo, and NORMENT, Norway
- Tobias S. Andersen, Associate professor, Danish Technical University
- Sofie Beier, Associate professor, School of Design, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
- Christian Gerlach, Professor, Dept. of Psychology, University of Southern Denmark
- Maria Nordfang, Neuropsychologist, Department of Neurology, Rigshospitalet, Glostrup, and Associate professor, Department of Communication and Psychology, Aalborg University
- Mads Poulsen, Associate professor, Department of Nordic studies and Linguistics, UCPH
- Katrine Sand, Neuropsychologist, Department of Neurology, Zealand University Hospital
- Jacob Wienecke, Associate professor, Department of Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports, UCPH
|Randi Starrfelt||Professor||+45 35 32 48 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Ro Robotham||Assistant professor||+45 35 33 18 email@example.com|
|Cathrine L. Thorsen||Intern|