Dan Mikael Ellingsen

Postdoctoral Fellow - Department of Psychology
Image of Dan Mikael Ellingsen
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Mobile phone +1 781 491 39 82 (office)
Available hours By agreement
Visiting address Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging 149 Thirteenth Street Rm 2301 Charlestown MA-02129
Postal address Postboks 1094 Blindern 0317 OSLO

Academic interests

I am a cognitive neuroscientist interested in how subjective sensations, especially of pleasure and displeasure, are shaped by externally (sensory) and internally (expectations, attention, motivational state) available information. My research focuses on the processing and regulation of pain and positive affect, placebo effects, and interactions between social relationships and hedonic feelings (pleasure and displeasure). I use techniques such as functional and structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), measures of the autonomic nervous system, pharmacological stimulation, and self-report.

I am currently at Harvard Medical School, where I use neuroimaging techniques in combination with autonomic and psychophysical measures to understand the neurobiology of the patient-clinician encounter and how the quality of this relationship influences the outcome of medical and psychological treatment. 


  • 2015-present: Postdoctoral research fellow, Harvard Medical School and Martinos Center for Biomedical imaging

  • 2014-present: Postdoctoral researcher, Univ. of Oslo, Dept. of Psychology

  • Fall 2014: Postdoctoral researcher, Linköping Univ., Dept. of Clinical and Experimental Medicine

  • 2010-2014: PhD in neurophysiology at Gothenburg Univ., Inst. of Neuroscience and Physiology

  • 2008-2010: MPhil in Psychology, Cognitive Neuroscience at Univ. of Oslo, Dept. of Psychology

  • 2005-2008: B.Soc.Sc. in Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

  • CV (PDF)



Tags: Cognitive psychology, Neuroscience


  1. Ellingsen, D.M., Garcia, R.G., Lee, J., Lin, R.L., Kim, J., Thurler, A.H., Castel, S., Dimisko, L., Rosen, B.R., Hadjikhani, N., Kuo, B., Napadow, V. (2017) Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome is characterized by altered functional brain connectivity of the insular cortex: A cross-comparison with migraine and healthy adults. Neurogastroenterology and Motility. doi:10.1111/nmo.13004
  2. Liljencrantz, J., Strigo, I., Ellingsen, D.M., Krämer, H.H., Lundblad, L., Leknes, S., Olausson, H., (2017) Slow brushing reduces heat pain in humans. European Journal of Pain.
  3. Ellingsen, D.M., Leknes, S., Wessberg, J., Løseth, G., Olausson, H. (2016) The neurobiology shaping affective touch: Expectation, motivation, and meaning in the multisensory context, Frontiers in Psychology, 6:1986.
  4. Ellingsen, D.M., Kringelbach, M.L., Leknes, S. (In press) A neuroscience perspective on pleasure and pain. Book Chapter.
  5. Løseth, G., Leknes, S., Ellingsen, D.M. (2016) The neurochemical basis of motivation for affiliative touch, In Olausson et al. (Eds), Affective Touch and the Neurophysiology of CT Afferents. Springer.
  6. Ellingsen, D.M. (2015) Så vinklar hjärnan din verklighet, Modern Psykologi, 7, 12-39
  7. Ellingsen, D.M. (2015) How do C-tactile skin afferents contribute to erotic affect?, Journal of Sexual Medicine, 12(7), 1656-1656.
  8. Ellingsen, D.M., Leknes, S., Kringelbach, M.L. (2015) Hedonic value, In Brosch, T. and Sander, D. (Eds), Handbook of Value: Perspectives from Economics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Psychology and Sociology, 265-286. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
  9. Løseth, G., Ellingsen, D.M., Leknes, S. (2014) State dependent mu-opioid modulation of social motivation, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 8:430.
  10. Ellingsen, D.M., Leknes, S. (2014) Forbedring av smerte og velbehag ved bruk av placebo, BestPractice Smerte, 10, 16-17.
  11. Ellingsen, D.M., Leknes, S. (2014) Kan vi snu smerteopplevelsen fra vond til god? Forventninger, kontekst og lettelse påvirker smerte, BestPractice Smerte, 9, 6-7.
  12. Ellingsen, D.M., Wessberg, J., Chelnokova, O., Olausson, H., Laeng, B., Leknes, S. (2014) In touch with your emotions: Oxytocin and touch change social impressions while others' facial expressions can alter touch, Psychoneuroendocrinology, 39, 11-20.
  13. Ellingsen, D.M., Wessberg, J., Eikemo, M., Liljencrantz, J., Endestad, T., Olausson, H., Leknes, S. (2013) Placebo Improves Pleasure And Pain Through Opposite Modulation Of Sensory Processing, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 110, 17993-17998.
  14. Ellingsen, D.M., Leknes, S. (2013) Placebo gav lindrad smärta, men också ökad njutning, Läkartidningen, 110:CLEF.
  15. Leknes, S., Wessberg, J, Ellingsen, D.M., Chelnokova, O., Olausson, H., Laeng, B. (2013) Oxytocin enhances pupil dilation and sensitivity to ‘hidden’ emotional expressions, Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 8, 741-749.
  16. Løseth, G., Ellingsen, D.M., Leknes, S. (2013) Touch and Pain. In R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener (Eds), Noba textbook series: Psychology. Champaign, IL: DEF Publishers. DOI: www.nobaproject.com.

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  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael (2015). How do C-tactile skin afferents contribute to erotic affect?. Journal of Sexual Medicine.  ISSN 1743-6095.  12(7), s 1656 . doi: 10.1111/jsm.12929
  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael (2014). Central modulation of affective touch, pain, and emotion in humans.
  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2014). Forbedring av smerte og velbehag ved bruk av placebo. BestPractice Smerte.  ISSN 1902-7583.  10, s 16- 17
  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2014). Kan vi snu smerteopplevelsen fra vond til god? Forventninger, kontekst og lettelse påvirker smerte. BestPractice Smerte.  ISSN 1902-7583.  9, s 6- 7
  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2013). Placebo gav lindrad smärta, men också ökad njutning. Läkartidningen.  ISSN 0023-7205.  110(49-50)

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Published Jan. 12, 2015 8:35 AM - Last modified May 18, 2017 8:15 PM