Lars Tjelta Westlye
I am a senior researcher and head of the Multimodal Imaging Group at the Norwegian Center for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Oslo University Hospital/University of Oslo and associate professor II at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo.
Identifying mechanisms of disease is of vital importance to increase patient care and develop safe and effective treatment approaches. The heterogeneity and complexity of mental illnesses and other disorders of brain biology can only be fully appreciated by employing a cross-disciplinary and translational effort, preferably combined with a lifespan perspective.
Advanced neuroimaging techniques including MRI have revolutionized the understanding of the structural and functional makeup of the human brain. Structural and functional brain features are highly heritable, and our current research aims at characterizing the cognitive, brain and genetic mechanisms of severe neuropsychiatric disorders, in particular schizophrenia and bipolar spectrum disorders. In addition, in order to address questions pertaining to the clinical sensitivity and specificity of our results, we are aiming to compare and validate our findings across a range of brain disorders through a close collaboration with several clinical research groups. In addition, using brain network modeling approaches we are approaching the cognitive neuroscience of attention and memory functions, and questions related to the potential and mechanisms of neuroplasticity, both in clinical and non-clinical populations.
My research group utilizes various advanced MRI neuroimaging data and analysis approaches, with a particular emphasis on measures of structural (diffusion tensor imaging, DTI) and functional connectivity (functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI), and its integration using multimodal analysis approaches. In particular, by applying machine learning algorithms, we are investigating the clinical and cognitive sensitivity and specificity of various brain network-modeling approaches, including principles from graph theory.
In addition to the extended inter-disciplinary network of researchers at NORMENT and other clinical research groups at Oslo University Hospital, we are working closely with world-class international research groups, including the FMRIB Centre, Oxford University, and MMIL, UCSD.
Students interested in pursuing a cand psychol, MA or PhD within any of these areas of research are encouraged to contact me.
Higher education and employment history
2011 PhD, University of Oslo
2007 Cand. Psychol. (professionally oriented degree in psychology), University of Oslo, accredited psychologist 2008
- 2011 - 2012 Postdoctoral research fellow, Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
2011 Visiting Researcher, Multimodal Imaging Laboratory (MMIL), University of California San Diego, USA
2011 - Postdoctoral Research Fellow (research council of Norway), Center for the Study of Human Cognition, University of Oslo
2010 - 2011 Visiting Researcher, Oxford Centre for functional MRI of the Brain (FMRIB), University of Oxford, UK
2008 - 2011 PhD Research Fellow (The Research Council of Norway), Center for the Study of Human Cognition, Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo
2006 - 2007 Student Research Fellow (part time) (The Research Council of Norway), Department of Psychology, University of Oslo
2005 Student Research Fellow (full time) (The Research Council of Norway), Department of Psychology, University of Oslo