Lars Tjelta Westlye

Head of Research - Department of Psychology
Image of Lars Tjelta Westlye
Norwegian version of this page
Phone +47-97163221
Available hours By agreement
Visiting address Psykologisk institutt Postboks 1094 Blindern 0317 Oslo
Postal address Psykologisk institutt Postboks 1094 Blindern 0317 Oslo

Academic interests

I am a professor at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo and Core Researcher and group leader at the Norwegian Center for Mental Disorders Research (NORMENT), Oslo University Hospital/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

Employment history

  • 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

Tags: Cognitive neuroscience, Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Neuropsychology


View all works in Cristin

  • Voldsbekk, Irene; Lund, Martina Jonette; Kaufmann, Tobias; Fernandez-Cabello, Sara; Kjelkenes, Rikka & Dahl, Andreas [Show all 9 contributors for this article] (2022). Cross-Diagnostic Patterns of Socio-Cognitive Traits in the Developing Brain of Children and Adolescents.
  • Maximov, Ivan; van der Meer, Dennis; de Lange, Ann-Marie Glasø; Kaufmann, Tobias; Shadrin, Alexey & Frei, Oleksandr [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2021). YTTRIUM: QC algorithm for the processed diffusion maps in UK Biobank 18608 sample.
  • Maximov, Ivan; van der Meer, Dennis; de Lange, Ann Marie; Kaufmann, Tobias & Westlye, Lars Tjelta (2021). Probing human cortical microstructure using diffusion MRI: insights from N = 17,646 individuals of the UK Biobank.
  • van der Meer, Dennis; Frei, Oleksandr; Kaufmann, Tobias; Shadrin, Alexey; Devor, Anna & Smeland, Olav Bjerkehagen [Show all 12 contributors for this article] (2020). Author Correction: Understanding the genetic determinants of the brain with MOSTest (Nature Communications, (2020), 11, 1, (3512), 10.1038/s41467-020-17368-1). Nature Communications. ISSN 2041-1723. 11(1). doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-18628-w.
  • Kaufmann, Tobias; van der Meer, Dennis; Doan, Nhat Trung; Schwarz, Emanuel; Lund, Martina Jonette & Agartz, Ingrid [Show all 97 contributors for this article] (2020). Publisher Correction: Common brain disorders are associated with heritable patterns of apparent aging of the brain (Nature Neuroscience, (2019), 22, 10, (1617-1623), 10.1038/s41593-019-0471-7). Nature Neuroscience. ISSN 1097-6256. 23(2). doi: 10.1038/s41593-019-0553-6.

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Published Sep. 21, 2010 10:03 AM - Last modified June 30, 2020 1:19 PM