Håkan Fischer


Professor, Psychology, associated to ARC
+46 8 16 23 57

hakan.fischer@psychology.su.se

Håkan Fischer
Photo: Adam af Ekenstam

I am since 2011 the professor of Biological Psychology at Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, and since 2015, also head of this department. I am also associate professor at Karolinska Institutet and affiliated to ARC.

I started doing affective brain imaging research in 1993 and received my Ph.D. from Uppsala University in 1998. Between 1999 and 2001 I undertook post-doctoral training at Harvard Medical School in Boston, USA. After that I got a four year position as researcher (forskarassistent) from the Swedish Research Council at Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet. I then continued to work there as senior researcher, and from 2010 as vice head of ARC.

I am currently supervising seven doctoral students. There are also two Postdocs in my research group. Since 2002 I have regularly received funding as principal investigator, primarily from the Swedish Research Council, but also from STINT, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, and Konung Gustav V:s och Drottning Victorias Stiftelse.

My scientific work has resulted in more than 80 research articles published in peer-reviewed journals.

My primary area of research is individual differences in emotion processing and brain function, with a specific focus on aging, personality and gender differences. Current research lines here are:

  1. the study of the effect of sleep deprivation on emotional processing and its neurobiological base together with researchers from Stress Research Institute and Karolinska Institutet,
  2. the effect of social stress in young and older adults together with Stress Research Institute,
  3. the effect of oxytocin on socio-emotional processing and its neurobiological basis in younger and older people together with researchers at University of Florida and University of Gothenburg,
  4. the study of individual differences in recognition of socio-emotional information and training of the ability to detect socio-emotional information, and finally
  5. emotional regulation focused on habituation and extinction in younger and older adults.

Another line of research is the investigation of emotional processes and the neural basis of these in psychiatric criminal offenders with special focus on psychopathy. This research is done in collaboration with the Division of Forensic Psychiatry at Karolinska Institutet-Huddinge, the Department of Clinical Neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, and Löwenströmska sjukhuset (hospital).

I use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), positron emission tomography (PET) and functional near-infrared optical brain imaging (FNIRS) to study brain function and structural MRI to study brain structure (DTI and perfusion). I collaborate both nationally and internationally with other researchers and is involved in ongoing projects in Sweden, Germany and USA.

The Fischer Lab.

My page on Research Gate.

Selected publications

Szymkowicz, S.M., Persson, J., Lin, T., Fischer, H., & Ebner, N.C. (2016). Hippocampal brain volume is associated with faster facial emotion identification in older adults: preliminary results. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8: 203. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2016.00203

Rypma B, Fischer H, Rieckmann A, Hubbard NA, Nyberg L, Bäckman L. (2015). Dopamine D1 binding potential predicts fusiform gyrus neural activity during face-recognition performance. J Neurosci. 2015 Nov 4;35:14702-14707. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI. 1298-15.2015.

Gerhardsson A, Högman LB, Fischer H. (2015) Viewing distance matters to perceived intensity of facial expressions.. Front.Psychol. 6:944. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.00944.

Ebner N.C., Maura G.M., Macdonald K, Westberg L, Fischer H. (2013). Oxytocin and Socioemotional Aging-Current Knowledge and Future Trends. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience,7, 487. Front. Hum. Neurosci. | doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2013.00487.

Lovén, J., Svärd, J., Ebner, N.C., Herlitz, A., & Fischer, H. (2013). Face Gender Modulates Women’s Brain Activity during Face Encoding. Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. Epub 2013 June 13

Ebner, N.C., Johnson, M.R., Rieckmann, A., Durbin, K.A., Johnson, M.K., & Fischer, H. (2013). Processing own-age vs. other-age faces: Neuro-behavioral correlates and effects of emotion. NeuroImage. 78, 363-71, doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.04.029.

Johnell, K., & Fischer, H. (2011). Dopaminergic and serotonergic drug use: A nationwide register-based study of over 1 300 000 older people. PLoS One, 6(8):e23750. Epub 2011 Aug 15. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21858217.

Fischer, H., Nyberg, L., Karlsson, S., Karlsson, P., Brehmer, Y., Rieckmann, A., MacDonald, S.W.S., Farde, L., & Bäckman, L. (2010). Simulating Neurocognitive Aging: Effects of a Dopaminergic Antagonist on Brain Activity During Working Memory. Biological Psychiatry, 67, 575-580.

Fischer, H., Nyberg, L., & Bäckman, L. (2010). Age-related differences in brain regions supporting successful encoding of emotional faces. Cortex, 46, 490-497.

Fischer, H., Sandblom, J., Gavazzeni, J., Fransson, P., Wright, C.I., & Bäckman, L. (2005). Age-differential patterns of brain activation during perception of angry faces. Neuroscience letters, 386, 99-104.

Fischer, H., Wik, G., & Fredrikson, M. (1996). Functional neuroanatomy of robbery re-experience: Affective memories studied with PET. NeuroReport, 7(13), 2081-2086.

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Angleman, Sara

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