Lars Bäckman


Professor, Psychology
+46 8 690 5826

lars.backman.1@ki.se
KI Profile page: http://ki.se/en/people/laback

Lars Bäckman
Photo: Ulf Sirborn

Effective 2002 Lars Bäckman holds a professorship at the Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institutet. Lars is af Jochnick professor in the cognitive neuroscience of aging since 2011. This post is based on a donation from the af Jochnick Foundation of 50 million Swedish kronor over a 10-year period. He has previously held professorships at Gothenburg University (1993-1998) and Uppsala University (1998-2002). Lars is a cognitive psychologist by training and received his Ph.D. from the University of Umeå in 1984. He has supervised 20 graduate students who have completed their dissertation work and 17 post-doctoral fellows.

Since 1984 Lars has regularly received funding as principal investigator from one or several of the major research councils in Sweden. He is a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (chairperson in Class IX [Social Sciences] 2010-2015) and the European Academy of Sciences, and received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award in 2008. His scientific work has resulted in 352 articles in peer-reviewed journals, 7 edited volumes, and 66 book chapters.

Lars has served on numerous boards and committees including the Swedish Council for Social Research, the Swedish Sports Research Council, and the Swedish Research Council, where he chaired the priority committee for psychology between 2001-2006. He has been a member of the editorial board for several journals within general psychology, gerontology, and rehabilitation.

His primary research area is cognition in normal and pathological aging, with special focus on memory and the research activities range from large-scale epidemiological studies to experimental brain-imaging work. A major finding in the cognitive-epidemiological research is that people who will go on to develop Alzheimer’s disease or vascular dementia show deficits in episodic memory, speed, and executive functions several years, if not decades, prior to clinical diagnosis. Intervention studies demonstrate that training of memory and attention results in clear performance benefits and accompanying brain changes among older adults, although the size of improvement is typically reduced relative to younger adults.

In the fMRI work, a recurrent observation is that older adults underactivate task-relevant brain regions during episodic and working memory. PET studies demonstrate marked losses in dopamine functions from early to late adulthood. These losses have been linked to age-related cognitive deficits. In an ongoing longitudinal study (COBRA), PET and MRI are integrated to delineate the interplay among neuromodulation, structural brain integrity, functional activation patterns, and cognition in old age.

Selected publications

Kalpouzos, G.., Garzon, B., Sitnikov, R., Heiland, C., Salami, A., Persson, J., & Bäckman, L. (in press). Higher striatal iron concentration is linked to frontostriatal underactivation and poorer memory in normal aging. Cerebral Cortex. 

Brehmer, Y., Shing, Y.-L., Heekeren, H. R., Lindenberger, U., & Bäckman, L. (2016). Training-induced changes in subsequent-memory effects: No major differences among children, younger adults, and older adults. Neuroimage, 131, 214-225.

Nyberg, L., Karalija, N., Salami, A., Andersson, M., Wåhlin, A., Kaboodvand, N., Köhnke, Y., Axelsson, J., Rieckmann, A., Papenberg, G., Garrett, D. D., Riklund, K., Lövdén, M., Lindenberger, U., & Bäckman, L. (2016). Dopamine D2 availability is linked to hippocampal-caudate functional connectivity and episodic memory. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 113, 7918-7923. 

Guitart-Masip, M., Salami, A., Garrett, D., Rieckmann, A., Lindenberger, U., & Bäckman, L. (2015). BOLD variability is related to dopaminergic neurotransmission and cognitive aging. Cerebral Cortex, 26, 2074-2083.

Papenberg, G., Lindenberger, U., & Bäckman, L. (2015). Aging-related magnification of genetic effects on cognitive and brain integrity. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 19, 506-514.

Persson, J., Rieckmann, A., Kalpouzos, G., Fischer, H., & Bäckman, L. (2015). Influences of a DRD2 polymorphism on updating of long-term memory representations and caudate BOLD activity: Magnification in aging. Human Brain Mapping, 36, 1325-1334.

Pantzar, A., Jonsson Laukka, E., Atti, A.-R., Papenberg, G., Keller, L., Graff, C., Fratiglioni, L., & Bäckman, L. (2014). Interactive effects of KIBRA and CLSTN2 polymorphisms on episodic memory in old-age unipolar depression. Neuropsychologia, 62, 137-142.

Bäckman, L., & Nyberg, L. (2013). Dopamine and training-related working-memory improvement. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 37, 2209-2219.

Bäckman, L., Nyberg, L., Soveri, A., Johansson, J., Andersson, M., Dahlin, E., Neely, A. S., Virta, J., Laine, M., & Rinne, J. O. (2011). Effects of working-memory training on striatal dopamine release. Science, 333, 718.

Dahlin, E., Stigsdotter-Neely, A., Larsson, A., Bäckman, L., & Nyberg, L. (2008). Transfer of learning after updating training mediated by the striatum. Science, 320, 1510-1512.

Name / Phone
Agahi, Neda
+46 8 690 5896
Angleman, Sara
+46 8 690 6884
Annerholm, Cecilia
+46 8 690 5819
Avelar Pereira, Bárbara

Bäckman, Lars
+46 8 690 5826
Becker, Nina
+46 8 690 5886
Berggren, Rasmus

Blomgren, Lena Ragert
+46 8 690 5815
Brehmer, Yvonne
+46 8 690 5835
Brozzoli, Claudio
+46 8 690 5892
Bylund, Johanna
+46 8 690 5823
Calderón-Larrañaga, Amaia

Caracciolo, Barbara
+46 8 690 5827
Dahlberg, Lena
+46 23 778439
Darin Mattsson, Alexander

de Boer, Lieke

Ding, Mozhu

Dintica, Cristina

Ek, Stina

Eyjólfsdóttir, Harpa Sif

Fastbom, Johan
+46 8 690 6874
Ferencz, Beata
+46 8 690 5806
Fischer, Håkan
+46 8 16 23 57
Fors, Stefan
+46 8 690 6878
Fratiglioni, Laura
+46 8 690 5818
Fritzell, Johan
+46 8 690 6864
Garzón, Benjamín
+46 700 03 89 66
Grande, Giulia

Guitart-Masip, Marc

Haasum, Ylva

Håkansson, Krister
+46 73 7080768
Heap, Josephine

Heiland, Emerald

Helsing Västfjäll, Marie
+46 8 690 5969
+46 72 518 5969
Hooshmand, Babak
+46 8 690 6853
Johansson, Lennarth
+46 8 690 6868
Johnell, Kristina
+46 8 690 5867
Jonsson Laukka, Erika
+46 8 690 5851
Kaboodvand, Neda

Kalpouzos, Grégoria
+46 70 532 85 85
Kane, Kimberly

Kåreholt, Ingemar

Karlsson, Björn

Kelfve, Susanne
+46 8 690 6859
Kivipelto, Miia
+46 8 690 5822
Köhncke, Ylva
+46 8 690 5864
+46 70 001 1731
Lebedev, Alexander

+46 76 590 4649
Lennartsson, Carin
+46 8 690 53 02
Li, Xin

Liang, Yajun
+46 8 690 5880
Lövdén, Martin
+46 8 690 5879
Lundkvist, Pär

Mangialasche, Francesca
+46 8 690 5832
Marengoni, Alessandra
+39 030 252 8554
Marseglia, Anna

Meinow, Bettina
+46 8 690 5808
Morin, Lucas

Nilsen, Charlotta

Nilsson, Jonna
+46 8 690 5893
Olsen, Marie
+46 23 77 84 53
Pan, Kuan-Yu

Pantzar, Alexandra
+46 8 690 6857
Papenberg, Goran
+46 8 690 5875
Parker, Marti
+46 8 690 6869
Payton, Nicola

Persson, Ninni

Persson, Jonas
+46 8 690 5878
Pimouguet, Clément
+46 8 690 5368
Qiu, Chengxuan
+46 8 690 5816
Rehnberg, Johan

Rizzuto, Debora
+46 8 690 5368
Salami, Alireza
+46 8 690 6886
Samrani, George

Santoni, Giola
+46 8 690 6888
Schön, Pär
+46 8 690 6876
Seblova, Dominika

Seubert, Janina
+46 8 824 52471
+46 73 712 1380
Shakersain, Behnaz
+46 8 690 6853
Shang, Ying

Sindi, Shireen
+46 73 550 8703
Sjöberg, Linnea
+46 8 690 5847
Sjölund, Britt-Marie
+46 652 362 35
Solomon, Alina
+46 8 690 5822
Stenfors, Cecilia

Sundberg, Louise

Suthat, Vanessa
+46 8 690 5856
Svärd, Joakim Lång
+46 8 690 5870
Tan, Edwin

Thorslund, Mats
+46 8 690 6870
+46 70 584 8038
Vetrano, Davide Liborio

von Strauss, Eva

von Strauss, Hélène

Wahlberg, Maria
+46 8 690 5817
Wallin, Karin
+46 8 690 5822
+46 73 052 4894
Wang, Hui-Xin
+46 8 690 6867
Wang, Rui
+46 8 690 5854
Wastesson, Jonas

Welmer, Anna-Karin
+46 8 690 6866
Wimo, Anders

Winblad, Bengt
+46 8 585 854 74
Xu, Weili
+46 8 690 5848
Yohuang, Maria
+46 8 690 6882