Siri Leknes

Image of Siri  Leknes
Norwegian version of this page
Mobile phone +47-92622872
Room 3rd floor west wing
Visiting address Forskningsveien 3A Harald Schjelderups hus 0373 Oslo
Postal address Psykologisk institutt Postboks 1094 Blindern 0317 Oslo

How does the brain create subjective experiences? What happens in the nervous system that makes us perceive something as good or bad, pleasant or painful? My research uses a variety of cognitive, affective and social neuroscience techniques to answer this fundamental question. This is my wonderful team

My current and previous research projects revolve around the subjective hedonic feelings associated with rewards and punishments, social reward, and individual differences in the subjective experience of pain and pleasure. The research techniques I use include psychopharmacological studies, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and psychophysical investigations using self-report and autonomic measures. My research has implications for treatment of alcohol and drug addiction, chronic pain and other mental and physical health problems. 

Higher education and employment history

  • 2014-2016: Research fellow at the Intervention Centre, Oslo University Hospital.
  • 2010-2014: Research fellow at the Department of Psychology, University of Oslo. 
  • 2008-2010: Postdoc at the universities of Gothenburg and Oslo, mentored by Professors Håkan Olausson and Bruno Laeng.
  • 2004:2008: D.Phil. on ‘Pain, Pleasure and Relief’ at the Oxford Centre for Functional Imaging of the Brain (FMRIB) in spring 2008, supervised by Professor Irene Tracey.
  • My academic training includes masters’ and doctorate degrees in Neuroscience (Oxford University, UK) and a bachelor’s degree in Cognitive Science (Exeter University, UK).


  • President-elect, Society for Social Neuroscience
  • Associate editor, Pain


Current active international collaborations:

  • Professor Tom Johnstone  (Opioid modulation of craving & cognitive regulation)
  • Dr. Chantal Berna, Professor Irene Tracey et al. at the Universities of Oxford and Lausanne (The role of endogenous opioid signalling for pain and emotion)
  • Dr Eric Garland, Utah
Tags: Affect, Cognitive psychology, Neuroscience, Neuropsychology, Social Psychology


View all works in Cristin

  • Bochynska, Agata; Quintana, Daniel; Mayor, Julien; Leknes, Siri; Roettger, Timo & Mayiwar, Lewend [Show all 7 contributors for this article] (2022). Fram for troverdig forskning: Forskningen må være gjennomsiktig og etterprøvbar. Forskerforum. ISSN 0800-1715. 54(4), p. 38–39.
  • Leknes, Siri Graff & Vittersø, Axel (2022). Hvorfor er vi så glad i rus?
  • Eikemo, Marie; Løseth, Guro Engvig & Leknes, Siri (2021). Do endogenous opioids mediate or fine-tune human pain relief? Pain. ISSN 0304-3959. 162(12), p. 2789–2791. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002286.
  • Løseth, Guro; Eikemo, Marie & Leknes, Siri Graff (2019). Effects of opioid receptor stimulation and blockade on touch pleasantness: a double-blind randomised trial. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience. ISSN 1749-5016. doi: 10.1093/scan/nsz022.
  • Brandtzæg, Ole Kristian Merkesvik; Johnsen, Elin Follaug; Røberg-Larsen, Hanne; Leknes, Siri; Lundanes, Elsa & Wilson, Steven Ray Haakon (2016). Robust nano liquid chromatography mass spectrometry system for targeted determination of oxytocin in human serum/plasma.
  • Johnsen, Elin Follaug; Wilson, Steven Ray Haakon; Leknes, Siri & Lundanes, Elsa (2015). Highly automated platform for simultaneous identification of all classes of neurotransmitters by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography-MS.
  • Jonassen, Rune; Chelnokova, Olga V; Harmer, Catherine; Leknes, Siri & Landrø, Nils Inge (2014). A single dose of antidepressant alters eye-gaze patterns across face stimuli in healthy women.
  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2014). Forbedring av smerte og velbehag ved bruk av placebo. Best Practice Nordic. ISSN 1902-7583. 10, p. 16–17.
  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2014). Kan vi snu smerteopplevelsen fra vond til god? Forventninger, kontekst og lettelse påvirker smerte. Best Practice Nordic. ISSN 1902-7583. 9, p. 6–7.
  • Chelnokova, Olga V; Laeng, Bruno; Eikemo, Marie Helene; Riegels, Jeppe; Løseth, Guro & Maurud, Hedda [Show all 8 contributors for this article] (2014). Rewards of beauty: The opioid system mediates social motivation in humans. Molecular Psychiatry. ISSN 1359-4184. 19(7), p. 746–747. doi: 10.1038/mp.2014.1.
  • Johnsen, Elin Follaug; Folven, Lars; Leknes, Siri; Greibrokk, Tyge; Wilson, Steven Ray Haakon & Lundanes, Elsa (2014). On-line coupling of various spe phases with HILIC-LC for enrichment and separation of polar neurotransmitters in various biological matrices.
  • Løseth, Guro Engvig; Ellingsen, Dan Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2013). Touch and Pain. In Biswas-Diener, R., Diener, E., Noba textbook series: Psychology.
  • Ellingsen, Dan Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2013). Placebo gav lindrad smärta, men också ökad njutning. Läkartidningen. ISSN 0023-7205. 110(49-50).
  • Løseth, Guro Engvig; Ellingsen, Dan-Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2013). Touch and Pain. In: Noba textbook series: Psychology. Edited by R. Biswas-Diener & E. Diener.
  • Leknes, Siri; Berna, Chantal; Lee, M; Snyder, G.; Biele, Guido & Tracey, Irene (2013). Response to the commentary “Multiple potential mechanisms for context effects on pain”. Pain. ISSN 0304-3959. 154(8), p. 1485–1486. doi: 10.1016/j.pain.2013.04.002.
  • Ellingsen, Dan-Mikael & Leknes, Siri (2013). Placebo gav lindrad smärta, men också ökad njutning. Läkartidningen. ISSN 0023-7205. 110.
  • Chelnokova, Olga V; Laeng, Bruno; Riegels, Jeppe; Løseth, Guro Engvig; Eikemo, Marie Helene & Leknes, Siri Graff (2013). THE HUMAN OPIOID SYSTEM MEDIATES ATTENTION TO OTHERS' EYES. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. ISSN 0898-929X. p. 216–216.
  • Leknes, Siri Graff & Laeng, Bruno (2009). Social touch: investigating the role of oxytocin for interactions in the hedonic experience of touch and emotion. SFN Abstract Viewer/Itinerary Planner.

View all works in Cristin

Published Aug. 26, 2016 3:14 PM - Last modified Oct. 29, 2021 2:52 PM