Olga Therese Ousdal's picture

Olga Therese Ousdal

Associate Professor
  • E-mailOlga.Ousdal@uib.no
  • Phone+47 55 58 46 90
  • Visitor Address
    Jonas Lies vei 91
    5009 Bergen
  • Postal Address
    Postboks 7804
    5020 Bergen

I am a neuroscientist and consultant neuroradiologist with an interest in understanding the disease course of major depression and anxiety disorders

Olga Therese Ousdal, MD PhD, is a consultant radiologist (20%) at Department of Radiology, Haukeland University Hospital, and an associate professor (100%) at Department of Biomedicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Bergen. 

Mental disorders are dynamic disorders, where the type and degree of symptoms may vary over the disease course. I am interested in understanding the various disease transitions, including the transition from premorbid to active disease, from active disease to remission (following treatment) and from remission to relapse. I use my expertise in radiology in combination with clinical and multiomic data to address my research questions. 

Currently, I am leading the neuroimaging work packages at Center for Research on Neurostimulation treatments (UiB) https://www.uib.no/k1/163177/forskergruppe-nevrostimulerende-behandling-og-hjerneavbildning and The Bergen Center for Brain Plasticity (Helse Bergen/UiB) https://helse-bergen.no/en/bergen-center-for-brain-plasticity. I am also affiliated with the Neurotargeting group at Department of Biomedicine, UiB. https://www.uib.no/en/rg/neurotarg

Research awards:

Ousdal´s work has gained both national and international attention, and she is the recipient of the Marie Spångberg Award 2020 by the Norwegian Medical Association, the Falch Junior Award 2022 by The Faculty of Medicine, UiB  and the Young Scientist award 2022 by the Western Norway Regional Health Authority

For an overview of recent publications, please see Google scholar:


Students interested in pursuing a MS, MD with a research track or PhD within these areas of research are encouraged to contact me.

MED4 - Human physiology

I have also taught biological psychology (PROPSY303)

Academic article
  • Show author(s) (2024). Longitudinal resting-state network connectivity changes in electroconvulsive therapy patients compared to healthy controls. Brain Stimulation. 140-147.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Task-based functional connectivity reveals aberrance with the salience network during emotional interference in late-life depression. Aging & Mental Health. 2043-2051.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Neurobiological mechanisms of ECT and TMS treatment in depression: study protocol of a multimodal magnetic resonance investigation. BMC Psychiatry.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Linking resting state metabolite concentrations in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex to response inhibition in OCD, a combined fMRI-MRS study. Journal of Affective Disorders Reports. 1-8.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Inhibitory control as possible risk and/or resilience factor for the development of trauma related symptoms–a study of the Utøya terror attack survivors. Applied neuropsychology: Adult. 13 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Electroconvulsive therapy-induced volumetric brain changes converge on a common causal circuit in depression. Molecular Psychiatry.
  • Show author(s) (2022). Predictors of osteoarthritis development at a median 25 years after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction using a patellar tendon autograft. American Journal of Sports Medicine. 1195-1204.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Short and long-term effects of single and multiple sessions of electroconvulsive therapy on brain gray matter volumes. Brain Stimulation. 1330-1339.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Neural Substrates of Psychotic Depression: Findings From the Global ECT-MRI Research Collaboration. Schizophrenia Bulletin. 1-10.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Longitudinal changes in neurometabolite concentrations in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex after concentrated exposure therapy for obsessive-compulsive disorder. Journal of Affective Disorders. 344-352.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Elevated body weight modulates subcortical volume change and associated clinical response following electroconvulsive therapy. Journal of Psychiatry & Neuroscience.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Disentangling Within- and Between-Person Effects During Response Inhibition in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 1-10.
  • Show author(s) (2021). Diffusion Tensor Imaging Before and 3 Months After Concentrated Exposure Response Prevention in Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 1-11.
  • Show author(s) (2020). The association of PTSD symptom severity with amygdala nuclei volumes in traumatized youths. Translational Psychiatry. 1-10.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Stable inhibition-related inferior frontal hypoactivation and fronto-limbic hyperconnectivity in obsessive–compulsive disorder after concentrated exposure therapy. NeuroImage: Clinical. 1-8.
  • Show author(s) (2020). Effects of Bergen 4-day treatment on resting-state graph features in obsessive-compulsive disorder. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. 1-10.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Longitudinal stability of the brain functional connectome is associated with episodic memory performance in aging. Human Brain Mapping. 697-709.
  • Show author(s) (2019). Brain changes induced by electroconvulsive therapy are broadly distributed. Biological Psychiatry. 451-461.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Prefrontal glutamate levels predict altered amygdala–prefrontal connectivity in traumatized youths. Psychological Medicine. 1-9.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Neural activity and fundamental learning, motivated by monetary loss and reward, are intact in mild to moderate major depressive disorder. PLOS ONE.
  • Show author(s) (2017). The impact of traumatic stress on Pavlovian biases. Psychological Medicine. 327-336.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Life threat and sleep disturbances in adolescents: a two-year follow-up of survivors from the 2011 Utøya, Norway, terror attack. Journal of Traumatic Stress. 219-228.
  • Show author(s) (2017). Association of neural and emotional impacts of reward prediction errors with major depression. JAMA psychiatry. 790-797.
  • Show author(s) (2016). Dopamine increases a value-independent gambling propensity. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2658-2667.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Negative symptoms in schizophrenia show association with amygdala volumes and neural activation during affective processing. Acta Neuropsychiatrica. 213-220.
  • Show author(s) (2015). Dissociable Effects of Serotonin and Dopamine on the Valuation of Harm in Moral Decision Making. Current Biology. 1852-1859.
  • Show author(s) (2014). The left inferior frontal gyrus is involved in adjusting response bias during a perceptual decision-making task. Brain and Behavior. 398-407.
  • Show author(s) (2014). The human amygdala encodes value and space during decision making. NeuroImage. 712-719.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Increased amygdala and visual cortex activity and functional connectivity towards stimulus novelty is associated with state anxiety. PLOS ONE.
  • Show author(s) (2013). CACNA1C Risk Variant and Amygdala Activity in Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia and Healthy Controls. PLOS ONE. 6 pages.
  • Show author(s) (2012). Effect of relevance on amygdala activation and association with the ventral striatum. NeuroImage. 95-101.
  • Show author(s) (2012). Associations Between Variants Near a Monoaminergic Pathways Gene (PHOX2B) and Amygdala Reactivity: A Genome-Wide Functional Imaging Study. Twin Research and Human Genetics. 273-285.
Academic lecture
  • Show author(s) (2018). Longitudinal stability of the brain functional connectome is associated with episodic memory performance.
  • Show author(s) (2018). Funn fra prosjektet 'Akutt stress på en hjerne I utvikling'.
Masters thesis
  • Show author(s) (2023). Early life adversity and trajectories of cortical myelination.
Popular scientific article
  • Show author(s) (2015). Traumer: Hva kan terrorangrepet på Utøya lære oss? Katarsis - et tidsskrift for studenter ved det psykologiske fakultet.
  • Show author(s) (2013). To år etter terrorangrepet. Hvordan har Utøya-ungdommene det når hverdagen har kommet? Bergens Tidende.
Letter to the editor
  • Show author(s) (2021). Reply to: Clinical Relevance of Brain Changes After Electroconvulsive Therapy: Is There Really No Link at All? Biological Psychiatry. e15-e16.
  • Show author(s) (2014). The influence of action requirements and outcome valence on instrumental Learning after traumatic stress.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Psychiatric long-term effects in Survivors from the terror attack at Utøya 22. July.
  • Show author(s) (2014). Emotional conflict Processing in Survivors of the 2011 Oslo and Utøya terror attack; Behavioural and fMRI data.
  • Show author(s) (2023). Correction: Electroconvulsive therapy-induced volumetric brain changes converge on a common causal circuit in depression (Molecular Psychiatry, (2023), 10.1038/s41380-023-02318-2). Molecular Psychiatry.
Academic literature review
  • Show author(s) (2024). Neurobiological mechanisms of electroconvulsive therapy for depression: Insights into hippocampal volumetric increases from clinical and preclinical studies. Journal of Neurochemistry.
  • Show author(s) (2021). The Neurobiological Effects of Electroconvulsive Therapy Studied Through Magnetic Resonance: What Have We Learned, and Where Do We Go? Biological Psychiatry. 1-10.

More information in national current research information system (CRIStin)

Selected publications:

Ousdal OT, Brancati G, Kessler U, Erchinger V, Dale AM, Oltedal L. The neurobiological effects of electroconvulsive therapy studied through magnetic resonance – what have we learnt and where do we go? Biological Psychiatry. 2021

Ousdal OT, Argyelan M, Narr KL, Abbott C, Wade B, Vandenbulcke M, Urretavizcaya M, Tendolkar I, Takamiya A, Stek ML, Soriano-Mas C, Redlich R, Paulson OB, Oudega ML, Opel N, Nordanskog P, Kishimoto T, Kampe R, Jorgensen A, Hanson LG, Hamilton JP, Espinoza R, Emsell L, van Eijndhoven P, Dols A, Dannlowski U, Cardoner N, Bouckaert F, Anand A, Bartsch H, Kessler U, Oedegaard KJ, Dale AM, Oltedal L; GEMRIC. Brain changes induced by electroconvulsive therapy are broadly distributed. Biological Psychiatry. 2020

Ousdal OT, Milde AM, Hafstad GS, Hodneland E, Dyb G, Craven AR, Melinder A, Endestad T, Hudahl K. The association of PTSD symptom severity with amygdala nuclei volumes in traumatized youths. Translational Psychiatry. 2020

Rutledge RB, MoutoussisM, SmittenaarP, ZeidmanP, HerltT, HrynkiewiczL, LamJ, SkandaliN, SiegelJZ, Ousdal OT, PrabhuG, DayanP, FonagyP, DolanRJ. Association of Neural and Emotional Impacts of Reward Prediction Errors with Major Depression. JAMA Psychiatry, 2017