About me

I am a cognitive neuroscientist who specializes in perception and cognition of the olfactory and respiratory system. I work with both healthy populations and individuals with olfactory disorders (e.g., congenital anosmia and Parkinson’s patients).

Prior to joining the Clinical Neuroscience Department at KI in 2018, I conducted research in Asifa Majid group (now at University of Oxford) at the Donders Institute, Centre for Language Studies at Radboud University, and Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics, Nijmegen, The Netherlands. There, I began studying cross-cultural aspects of odor perception and cognition. This area of research is still one of my current research interests.

I am currently affiliated with the Psychology division at KI, where I lead the Embodied Perception and Cognition group at the Perceptual neuroscience lab We conduct experimental work on how action and interoceptive sensory signals propagate to shape perception and cognition, and vice versa. We combine state-of-the-art neuroimaging tools and computational models with behavioral experiments to address these questions. For example, we study olfactory full-body approach-avoidance behavior, or how episodic memories are created by the memory of contextual representations of self-movement and location. We also study how breathing shapes memory formation and perception.

Research description

The long-term goal of my research is to uncover the neurobiological, psychological, physiological, and motor mechanisms that underlie the human sense of smell, in health and disease. I use a multidisciplinary approach that is centered at the intersection of psychology, anthropology, biology, and engineering. Using tools from these disciplines, as well as creating new ones, has allowed me and my large network of multidisciplinary collaborators to study and answer fundamental questions in perception and cognition.

As the olfactory system is dependent on the nasal respiratory system, one of my main research questions centers around how breathing affects brain and behavior. To illuminate these underlying mechanisms, I employ state-of-the-art techniques, including structural and functional MRI, EEG, intracranial recordings, and psychophysical, cognitive, and psychophysiological recordings (e.g., respiration, heart rate, pupillometry, and full-body movement).

In parallel to this, I have conduct large-scale collaborative work on the cross-cultural factors that shape the human sense of smell by working with small-scale societies such as diverse hunter gatherer populations.

I am the Principal Investigator on the project "Does nasal respiration enhance hippocampal-dependent memory processes in humans?", which is funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) from 2018-2022.

I am also the Principal Investigator on the project "How does breathing shape perception? From pupil dynamics to active sensing", which is funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) from2022-2026.

I am also co-investigator on the project “Prevalence and treatments of post-COVID olfactory dysfunction” together with PI Johan Lundström, Karolinska institute. This is funded by the Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) from 2022-2026

For more information visit the Perceptual neuroscience lab at KI:

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2016  Recipient of ISOT Young Investigator Award, International Society of Olfaction and Taste. This prize is awarded every fourth year jointly by the North American Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS), European Chemoreception Research Organization (ECRO), and the Japanese Association for the Study of Taste and Smell (JASTS).