Hana Malá Rytter

Hana Malá Rytter

Associate Professor

Research fields


  • neuroplasticity and functional organization and reorganization of the brain
  • principles and nature of posttraumatic recovery of cognitive impairment and strategies to support recovery of cognitive function - when, how and how much, non-pharmacological and pharmacological treatment of cognitive dysfunction
  • cognitive function of associative systems of the brain (primarily prefrontal cortex and hippocampus)


  • neuropsychological rehabilitation after acquired brain injury and cognitive recovery
  • interdisciplinary, comprehensive approach to persistent post-concussive syndrome


Research group memberships

  • The Unit for Cognitive Neuroscience (UCN) and Center for Integrative Cognitive Neuroscience (CInCoN), Department of Psychology, University of Copehagen, DK
  • Member of GLUTARGET, Centre of Excellence, FARMA, Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology, University of Copenhagen, DK
  • Collaboration with BRAINlab, Department of Neuroscience and Pharmacology, UCPH, DK
  • Collaboration with clinicians at Center for Brain Injury Rehabilitation, Copenhagen,  Department of Neurology, Stroke Unit and Department of Neurorehabilitation, Traumatic Brain Injury Unit at Copenhagen University Glostrup/Hvidovre


Research: brief description

Hana Mala Rytter (publishing as Hana Mala) is Associate Professor in cognitive neuroscience and neuropsychology at the Department of Psychology, University of Copenhagen. Her research focuses on brain organization and reorganization in response to brain injury and brain injury rehabilitation. She has an extensive knowledge and expertise in modeling of cognitive functions through the use of animal models including project design, project management, data analysis and dissemination. As part of the Unit for Cognitive Neuroscience (UCN), Department of Psychology, she has supervised and coordinated parallel research projects, and functioned as ‘lab manager’. She holds a certificate in Laboratory Animal Science complying with the FELASA category C requirements. Her current research focus is on combinatory treatment effects on recovery after brain injury, effects of pharmacological support, and on the mapping of functional architecture related to brain structures (in particular the prefrontal cortex and the hippocampus)  and neurotransmitter systems (such as acetylcholine and dopamine).  The cognitive domains of special interest to her are spatial memory and problem solving, together with executive functioning. The animal modelling approach is complemented by planned future studies into the human navigational strategies.  

Hana Mala Rytter has experience with Health Technology Assessment (area: brain injury rehabilitation) and systematic grading of research literature as well as performing systematic review of literature regarding cognitive rehabilitation after brain injury. She also has experience with applied clinical neuropsychological research including project design, management, data analysis and dissemination. In the years 2011-2014, she has been responsible for research design, data analysis and dissemination of the type I-II study investigating the effect of specialized, interdisciplinary treatment of the persistent post-concussive syndrome. She is currently writing up the results from this study and preparing its sequel, a national multi-centre, type III trial.

Hana Mala Rytter functions currently as Chair of Expert committee for the Association of Brain Injured, Denmark. She has been a member of several committees providing feedback to the Danish authorities in the health and social domain on the treatment standards and guidelines relative to the survivors of brain injury.

Link to Google Scholar profile: https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&user=Y7VHhHYAAAAJ&view_op=list_works

Link to Researchgate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Hana_Mala


Current research projects

  • Glutamatergic support of cognitive recovery after traumatic brain injury
  • Exercise and enriched environments as supportive therapies to enhance cognitive recovery after brain injury
  • Navigational strategies in relation to contextual demands – the role of hippocampus and prefrontal cortex in implicit spatial memory
  • Treatment of persistent post-concussive syndrome – effects of comprehensive, interdisciplinary approach

Major Grants

  • Grant regarding project “Brain concussion without end – a comprehensive treatment of Post-concussive Syndrome” (co-applicant/share of grant), amount 3.100.000 DKK awarded to the Center for Rehabilitation of Brain Injury by the Danish Prevention Fund, January 2012-December 2014
  • Grant regarding project “Social cognition and communication in the context of brain injury” (co-applicant/share of grant), amount 6.033.000 DKK awarded to ReCBIR by Danish Research Council for Culture and Communication, January 2010-December 2012
  • Post-doctoral fellowship award from Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, topic: Recovery after stroke: enhancing neuronal plasticity through pharmacological and non-pharmacological strategies, amount 90.000 CAD, spring 2008



Teaching and supervision at BA, KA, and Ph.D. levels in:

-        Cognitive Psychology

-        Biological psychology and Neuropsychology

-        Bachelor’s theses

-        Master’s theses

-        Elective course on Neural Plasticity and neurorehabilitation


Selected publications

Gram M.G., Gade L., Wogensen E., Mogensen J. & Malá H. (2015): Equal effects of typical  environmental and specific social enrichment on posttraumatic cognitive functioning after fimbria-fornix transection in rats. Brain Research. In press.

Gram M.G., Wogensen, E., Wörtwein, G., Mogensen, J., & Malá H.: Delayed restraint procedure enhances cognitive recovery of spatial function after fimbria-fornix transection. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience. In press.

Wogensen, E., Malá H. & Mogensen, J. (2015): The Effects of Exercise on Cognitive Recovery after Acquired Brain Injury in Animal Models – A Systematic Review. Neural Plasticity, Article ID 830871

Malá H., Andersen, L.G., Christensen, R.F., Felbinger, A., Hagstrøm, J., Meder, D., Pearce, H. & Mogensen J. (2015): Prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in behavioural flexibility and posttraumatic functional recovery: Reversal learning and set-shifting in rats. Brain Research Bulletin, 116, pp. 34-44.

Malá, H., Engberg, E.W., Andersen, G. (2015): Ny bekendtgørelse øger lægeansvar ved udfærdigelse af genoptræningsplaner for personer med erhvervet hjerneskade. Kan den rette op på genoptræning og rehabilitering i primærsektoren? Debatindlæg. Ugeskrift for læger, nr. 15., d.20.juli

Malá H., Arnberg K., Chu D., Nedergaard S.K., Witmer J. & Mogensen J. (2013): Repeated administration of serotonergic agonist 8-OH-DPAT improves place learning of brain injured animals but impairs the performance of control rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behaviour, 109, pp. 50-58.

Malá, H., Castro, M.R., Pearce, H., Kingod, S.C., Nedergaard, S.K., Scharff, Z., Zandersen, M., & Mogensen, J. (2012): Delayed intensive acquisition training alleviates the lesion-induced place learning deficits after fimbria-fornix transection in the rat. Brain Research. 1445, pp.40-51

Malá, H., Chen Y., Worm V.H., Kure J., Kaae B.H., Madsen U., Badolo L., Pickering D.S. & Mogensen J. (2012): Cognitive enhancing effects of an AMPA receptor positive modulator on place learning in mice. Behavioural Brain Research, 226, p.18-25.

Malá H. (2011): Evidensbaseret praksis – eller praksisbaseret evidens? [Evidence based practice – or practice based evidence?] Logos, Audiologopædisk Tidsskrift , nr. 61, s. 4-6.

Malá H. (2011): Hjerneskaderehabilitering belyst på kryds og tværs [Brain injury rehabilitation from multiple perspectives], Fokus – tidskrift om erhvervet hjerneskade , vol 18, nr. 1, s. 22-23.

Malá, H. (2011): Når hjernen gør fremskridt [Advances of the injured brain], Psykolog Nyt , nr. 6, s. 14-17.

Sundhedsstyrelsen (2011): Hjerneskaderehabilitering – en medicinsk teknologivurdering [Brain injury rehabilitation – health technology assessment], 13 (1).

Wilms, I. & Malá H. (2010): Indirect versus direct feedback in computer-based Prism Adaptation Therapy. Neuropsychological rehabilitation, 20 (6), pp. 830-853.

Mogensen, J. & Malá, H. (2009): Posttraumatic functional recovery and reorganisation. A theoretical and methodological challenge. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 50, 561-573.

Clarke, J., Malá H., Windle, V., Chernenko, G., & Corbett, D. (2009): The Effects of Repeated Rehabilitation “Tune-Ups” on Functional Recovery After Focal Ischemia in Rats. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair; vol. 23: pp. 886 – 894.

Mogensen, J., Boyd, M.H., Nielsen, M.D., Kristensen, R.S. & Malá H. (2008): Erythropoietin improves spatial delayed alternation in a T-maze in rats subjected to ablation of the prefrontal cortex. Brain Research Bulletin, 77(1), 1-7.

Malá, H., Castro, M.R., Knippel, J., Køhler, P.J., Lassen, P., & Mogensen J. (2008): Therapeutic effects of a restraint procedure on posttraumatic place learning in fimbria-fornix transected rats. Brain Research, 1217, 221-231.

Mogensen, J., Jensen, Ch., Kingod, S.C., Hansen, A., Larsen, J.A.R., & Malá, H. (2008): Erythropoietin improves spatial delayed alternation in a T-maze in fimbria-fornix transected rats. Behavioural Brain Research, 186(2), 215-21. 

Malá, H., Castro, M.R., Jørgensen, K.D., & Mogensen, J. (2007): Effects of erythropoietin on posttraumatic place learning in fimbria-fornix transected rats after a 30 day postoperative pause. Journal of Neurotrauma, 24(10), 1647-57

Mogensen, J., Hjortkjaer, J, Ibervang, K.L., Stedal, K., and Malá, H. (2007): Prefrontal cortex and hippocampus in posttraumatic functional recovery: Spatial delayed alternation by rats subjected to transection of the fimbria-fornix and/or ablation of the prefrontal cortex. Brain Research Bulletin, vol.73, 86-95. 

Malá, H., Alsina, C.G., Madsen, K.S., Sibbessen, E.laC. Stick, H. & Mogensen J. (2005): Erythropoietin improves place learning in an 8-arm radial maze in fimbria-fornix transected rats. Neural Plasticity, vol. 12, 329-341.

Mogensen, J., Miskowiak, K., Sørensen, T.A., Lind, C.T., Olsen, N.V., Springborg, J.B. & Malá, H. (2004): Erythropoietin improves place learning in fimbria-fornix transected rats and modifies the search pattern of normal rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, vol. 77, 381-390.

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