Emotion & Cognition Group (ECG)

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Research group leader: Lin Sørensen

Contact information:

Institutt for biologisk og medisinsk psykologi

Jonas Liesvei 91

5009 Bergen, Norway

The focus of our research is how we as humans regulate our feelings, behavior, and attentional resources. These processes comprise self-regulative abilities important for our functioning at school, work and in social communication in the everyday life. We investigate emotional and cognitive functioning in mental health problems, e.g., ADHD, neuroticism, depression, and borderline personality disorder. We also investigate how emotional and cognitive processes are involved in psychotherapy and psychotherapeutic change, e.g., mindfulness based cognitive psychotherapy, goal management training, unified protocol, and dialectical behavioral therapy. We apply different methods to measure these regulative processes such as self-report (questionnaires and interviews), clinical and experimental test paradigms, psychophysiology (heart rate variability, eye-tracking, electrodermal activity) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Ongoing and initiated Research Projects

Basic research

Neuroticism, Alexithymia and Interoception. This project is headed by Associate Professors Jon Vøllestad and Berge Osnes. The project will investigate underlying mechanisms in neuroticism and will at a late stage involve studying effect of treatment for neuroticism (Unified Protocol). The project also involves developing a behavioral test of Alexithymia. The project involves testing to what extent specific aspects of emotional perception is associated with difficulties with verbalizing and experiencing emotions. The project is run online, and it is possible to participate (Press here if you are interested in participating). We are also validating a Norwegian translation the Emotion Reactivity Scale (ERS), press here if you are interested in participating.

Cognitive control and vagally mediated heart rate variability. This project investigates the association between different aspects of cognitive control using the dichotic listening paradigm and heart rate variability repeatedly through 24 hours. This project is run by Associate Professor Berge Osnes, Professor Lin Sørensen, and Dr. Josef Bless.

Attention, emotion regulation and Transcutaneous Vagus Nerve Stimulation (tVNS). This project will investigate the effect of tVNS on attention (attention network test) and emotion regulation abilities. The project will start autumn 2023. The project will be headed by Professor Lin Sørensen and Associate Professor Berge Osnes.

Clinical research

Effects of partial corpus callosum agenesis on laterality and executive functions. This project investigates the associations developmental absence (agenesis) of the corpus callosum (AgCC) in adolescents with problems regulating behavior, attention, and executive functions. This is an on-going project headed by Professor Lin Sørensen in collaboration with Professor Kenneth Hugdahl.

Reward mechanisms in adolescents with ADHD. This is a project investigating how co-occurring traits in adolescents with ADHD such as general cognitive dysfunctions and depression affects delay discounting. In ADHD, delay discounting is often observed. This is impulsive choices being made due to a craving for immediate rewards that should be suppressed in order to earn larger rewards after a certain amount of time or effort. Delay discounting is for instance relevant for school settings in which rewards are used to motivate pupils to work on school tasks. This project is headed by Professor Lin Sørensen in collaboration with Professor Michael Stevens. The data is collected at Professor Stevens lab.

The neurobiological mechanisms for attentional lapses in adolescents with ADHD. This is a fMRI study of the association between variability in BOLD responses/hemodynamic responses and intra-individual variability in reaction time variability on a speeded GO/NOGO task. The project is headed by Professor Lin Sørensen in collaboration with Professor Michael Stevens. The data is collected at Professor Stevens lab.

Clinical trials

Enhancing emotion regulation, circadian rhythm and sleep in adolescent ADHD. This is a planned randomized controlled trial (RCT) that addresses effective treatment for disabling emotional difficulties (depression, anxiety) and sleep disturbances for adolescents with ADHD. This project is led by Professor Lin Sørensen and Professor Elisabeth Flo.

The role of mindfulness training on rumination in recurrent depression: The effect on attention and emotion regulation functions. This project is headed by Professor Lin Sørensen and Professor Elisabeth Schanche.

Selected publications from this project:

- Schanche, E., Vollestad, J., Visted, E., Svendsen, J. L., Binder, P. E., Osnes, B., Sorensen, L. (2021). Self‐criticism and self‐reassurance in individuals with recurrent depression: Effects of Mindfulness‐Based Cognitive Therapy and relationship to relapse. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, (21), 1-12. doi: 10.1002/capr.12381

- Schanche, E., Vollestad, J., Visted, E., Svendsen, J. L., Osnes, B., Binder, P. E., . . . Sorensen, L. (2021). The effects of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy on risk and protective factors of depressive relapse - a randomized wait-list controlled trial. BMC Psychol, 8(1), 57. doi:10.1186/s40359-020-00417-1

The effect of goal management training on adults with ADHD. In this treatment pre-post trial, adults with ADHD participated in group therapy to train on cognitive regulative functions (executive functions). The project is headed by PhD candidate Daniel A. Jensen and Professor Lin Sørensen.

Selected publications from this project:

- Jensen, D. A., Halmoy, A., Stubberud, J., Haavik, J., Lundervold, A. J., & Sorensen, L. (2021). An Exploratory Investigation of Goal Management Training in Adults With ADHD: Improvements in Inhibition and Everyday Functioning. Front Psychol, 12, 659480. doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.659480

- Nordby, E. S., Gilje, S., Jensen, D. A., Sorensen, L., & Stige, S. H. (2021). Goal management training for adults with ADHD - clients' experiences with a group-based intervention. BMC Psychiatry, 21(1), 113. doi.org/10.1186/s12888-021-03114-4

- Jensen, D. A., Lundervold, A. J., Stubberud, J., Halmoy, A., Haavik, J., & Sorensen, L. (2022). Goal management training improves executive control in adults with ADHD: an open trial employing attention network theory to examine effects on attention. BMC Psychol, 10(1), 207. doi.org/10.1186/s40359-022-00902-9

Emotional dysregulation in para-suicidal behavior: Effects of Dialectical Behavioral Therapy on emotional processing using a triangulation approach. This project is led by Associate Professor Berge Osnes.


- Lin Sørensen, Professor and currently head of the research group (at researchgate)

- Paul Hamilton, Associate Professor 

- Jon Vøllestad, Associate Professor (at researchgate)

- Berge Osnes, Associate Professor (at researchgate)

- Elisabeth Schanche, Professor (at researchgate)

- Marie Munch, PhD candidate

- Simen Røssland Berrefjord, master student (stud.psychol) (at researchgate)

- Endre Visted, Associate Professor (at researchgate)

- Julie Lillebostad Svendsen, PhD (at researchgate)

- Daniel Andre Jensen, PhD candidate (at researchgate)

- Elisabet Kvadsheim, PhD, MD (at researchgate)

See also our lab-page at researchgate