Copenhagen Neuropsychology Lab: Cognition, perception and assessment

Image of brain scans

Copenhagen Neuropsychology Lab (CopNL) is a research group working within cognitive and clinical neuropsychology. We conduct experimental and brain imaging studies of the effects of brain injury and neurodevelopmental disorders on cognition, and experimental studies with neurotypical participants.

We are particularly interested in how the brain processes visual information, and how we can assess cognitive and visual impairments following brain injury.

One of our aims 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 acquired reading disorders (alexia) and people with prosopagnosia (‘face blindness’). We work with researchers from different fields both in Denmark and internationally.











  • Starrfelt, R., Gerlach., C. & Gade, A. (Eds. 2021). Klinisk Neuropsykologi. 2. udgave. København: Frydenlund.
Klinisk neuropsykologi

Book chapters

  • Gerlach, C., & Robotham, R. J. (2022). Chapter 9 - Object recognition and visual object agnosia. In J. Barton, & A. Leff (Eds.), Neurology of Vision and Visual Disorders (Vol. 178). Elsevier. Handbook of Clinical Neurology
  • Starrfelt, R., & Woodhead, Z. (2022). Chapter 12 - Reading and alexia. In J. Barton, & A. Leff (Eds.), Neurology of Vision and Visual Disorders. Elsevier. Handbook of Clinical Neurology.
  • Starrfelt, R., & Barton, J. J. S. (2021). Prosopagnosia. In S. Della Sala (Ed.), Encyclopedia of Behavioral Neuroscience (2 ed.) Elsevier.

Journal articles













Image showing face blindness

Developmental prosopagnosia (DP) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that impairs face recognition. People with DP never learn to recognize others by their faces in the fast and automatic manner that characterizes unimpaired face recognition. Research on DP has increased substantially over the last ~15 years, and is mainly conducted within the fields of cognitive neuropsychology and neuroscience, using quantitative experimental, cognitive, and brain imaging techniques.

In the present project, we will investigate the ‘phenomenology of prosopagnosia’, using in-depth interviews to explore what it is like to be prosopagnosic and specifically how people with DP experience perceiving, imagining, and remembering faces. The project will contribute to a fundamental characterization of DP, which will increase our understanding of the nature of DP, inform cognitive theory, and may lead to novel hypotheses about the cognitive and perceptual deficits involved.

The project is funded by a project grant from the Independent Research Fund – Denmark.


Project PI: Professor Randi Starrfelt.

Co-PI: Associate Professor Tone Roald.

PhD student Erling Nørkær.







This project is concerned with improving the assessment of cognitive impairments after stroke. 12’000 people suffer from a stroke every year in Denmark. Stroke can lead to a wide range of cognitive impairments including problems with memory, planning, language and concentration. Patients typically experience some degree of recovery, however, over 50% of patients will have a long-term cognitive disability. Neurorehabilitation can improve long-term outcome. It is therefore crucial that we are able to identify the patients who are most likely to have long-term post-stroke cognitive impairments (PSCI) as early as possible to enable the implementation of appropriate patient-centered rehabilitation.

Traditionally, dementia screening tools have been used to identify cognitive impairments after stroke despite them not being well-suited for a stroke population. We are working to make stroke-specific cognitive screening tools such as the Oxford Cognitive Screen available in Danish and to learn more about how well these tools perform in comparison to comprehensive cognitive assessment.

PI: Ro. J Robotham.

Collaboration with Nele Demeyere, University of Oxford.

Hvordan får jeg fat i OCS-testen?

OCS. Photo: Oxford Innovations



The EnVision-CP project is concerned with visual perceptual deficits in adults with cerebral palsy (CP). It is estimated that approximately 50-70% of children with CP have visual impairments that are caused by their cerebral damage or atypical cerebral development. However, systematic assessment is not part of current clinical practice in individuals with CP. Furthermore, studies investigating visual abilities in CP have focused on children and youth. Knowledge on visual impairments in adults with CP, and how the expression of these may change across development, is therefore limited.

The aims of the project are:

  1. To describe how youth and adults with CP experience vision impairments
  2. To describe the types of visual perceptual impairments that may be observed in youth and adults with CP
  3. To develop and validate a visual perceptual screening tool for cerebral visual impairment in youth and adults with CP that can be used to inform choices related to interventions.

The project is funded by the Elsass Foundation, which aims to improve the quality of life for people with CP and their families.

PI: Ro J. Robotham.

PhD student: Katrine Sand.



Fatigue is one of the most common complaints for adults with cerebral palsy (CP) and can have severe consequences on everyday life. Fatigue is multifaceted and can be experienced in a multitude of ways. Fatigue self-assessment tools are often used by clinicians in order to guide interventions. There are many self-report assessment tools available for fatigue as it is a common complaint across many patient populations. However, these tools usually ask participants to compare their current experience of fatigue to how they experienced fatigue prior to their illness onset. These questions are not well suited for individuals with CP as they have had their disorder since the very early years of their life. Many self-report assessment tools have been used in adult with CP, however, only two have been designed specifically for this population. Little is known about these tools and how they compare. The overall aim of the project is therefore to compare measures of self-reported fatigue in a CP population to guide clinicians in their future practice. The project is a collaboration with the Elsass Foundation.

PI: Ro J. Robotham.



Bicultural Cognition (BiCON) - Effects of acculturation and bilingualism on measures of intellectual functioning.

The Wechsler Adult Intelligence Test (WAIS) is one of the most commonly used intelligence tests in the world and it is used in a wide range of contexts. The results of WAIS assessments can have important consequences on people’s lives, for example in the context of evaluations of parental ability and decisions related to sentencing (treatment versus incarceration). In such situations small measurements uncertainties can have important consequences. In Denmark, it is often assumed that bilingual children and adults who speak Danish fluently and have done their schooling in local Danish schools can be assessed using standard Danish norms without taking their language skills and cultural background into consideration. It is assumes, that they have the same prerequisites as other Danes. But this has never been investigated. Studies conducted in the USA have reported an association between performance on WAIS and measures of acculturation and bilingualism. A large body of evidence is emerging suggesting that cognitive tests and intelligence tests are highly culturally sensitive.

The aim of BiCON is therefore to investigate whether levels of acculturation and bilingualism affect performance of WAIS-IV and commonly used cognitive tests in a group of high-performing university students in Denmark, who have Arabic as their mother tongue.

PI: Ro J. Robotham.



Cerebral palsy (CP) is characterized by motor impairment but often includes cognitive impairments. Cognitive impairments can be more or less subtle and are often overlooked, despite being associated with a wide range of academic and social problems. In Denmark, while individuals with CP receive systematic assessment of their physical function, not all are offered cognitive assessments. Usually assessments are only offered if there is a clear sign of a disability. International studies suggest that many children and youth with CP attending mainstream schools have cognitive impairments. Little is known about the cognitive profiles of children and youth with CP attending mainstream schools in Denmark.

The aim of CPCog-DK is therefore to characterize cognitive functioning in a group of children and adolescence with CP (11-15 years) attending mainstream schools, to document the type and extent of cognitive difficulties, to secure appropriate interventions and prevent the development of social and emotional problems. The project is a collaboration between Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, the Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury, Copenhagen, Denmark, Aarhus University Hospital and the University of Copenhagen, and is financed by the Elsass Foundation.

Member of steering committee: Ro J. Robotham.



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.

Brain scan - left hemisphere patients

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.

Follow the project and publications on Research Gate.

The BoB-project group: Matt Lambon Ralph, Alex Leff, Randi Starrfelt, Ro Julia Robotham, Nicolaj Mistarz, Sheila Kerry & Grace Rice

As part of this project, we have developed a freely available screening test for visual field deficits. Download the test here.







Randi Starrfelt
Phone +45 35 32 48 86
Ro J. Robotham
Tenure track assistant professor
Phone +45 35 33 18 67

Our research is funded by

Independent Research Fund Denmark

Elsass Foundation


Name Title Phone E-mail
Randi Starrfelt Professor +45 35 32 48 86
Ro Robotham Tenure track assistant professor +45 35 33 18 67
Katrine Sand Andersen PhD student +45 35 32 51 95
Erling Nørkær PhD student +45 35 32 55 66
Stella Lystlund Student assistant 
Victor Bjerring Scherfig Student assistant 
Ida Thornberg Calsen Master thesis student 
Fie Nickie Larsen Master thesis student 
Alexander Tobias Ysbæk-Nielsen Master student 
Maya Tranter Psychology student 
Rubina Fray Gogolu Psychology student