I studied Biology with a main focus on Neurobiology, conducting my PhD and postdoctoral studies in the field of Human Neuroscience. Methodologically my core interests are Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Eye-Tracking, Electromyography and Psychophysics.
Currently, I am Assistant Professor (FoAss) at the Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND).
My research focuses on neural correlates and behavioral markers of Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASD) and ASD-related symptoms. More specifically, I am interested in biomarkers of overall symptom severity, social cognition deficits, altered reward functioning and especially altered sensory processing in ASD.
Within the Roots of Autism and ADHD Twin Study in Sweden (RATSS), one of my primary aims is to identify brain connectivity-based biomarkers for ASD including both functional brain connectivity during the resting state using functional MRI and structural connectivity measured via Diffusion Tensor Imaging in twins. I am also investigating the genetic vs environmental basis of altered sensory processing in ASD, such as globally vs locally directed attention in visual processing and hyper- and hyposensitivity to sensory input.
Recently, I received funding for a new project (start: January 2019) on the link between ASD and synesthesia, a non-pathological sensory phenomenon where sensory stimuli such as letters, weekdays, sounds or smells automatically lead to additional sensations such as color and/or shape. Synesthesia occurs more commonly in people with ASD, but the reason for this is unknown. In my project, I am investigating in a large twin cohort from The Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (CATSS) whether/to what extent this link is genetic. I am further looking into the neural correlates and sensory processing differences overlapping between both conditions.
Post-doctoral training 2014-2018, Center of Neurodevelopmental Disorders at Karolinska Institutet (KIND) at the Department of Women's and Children's Health (KBH), K6
Post-doctoral training 2012-2014, Centre for Integrative Neuroscience and Neurodynamics (CINN) / School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences, University of Reading, Reading, Berkshire, United Kingdom
PhD 2008-2012, Center for Systems Neuroscience Hannover (ZSN) / Hannover Medical School (MHH), Clinic of Psychiatry, Socialpsychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hanover, Germany