Jesper Mogensen

Jesper Mogensen


Research fields

  • Cognitive neuroscience – experimental studies and neurocognitive modeling
  • Neurocognitive organization and re-organization of the normal and injured brain
  • Brain injury and posttraumatic cognitive recovery – neurocognitive mechanisms and development of therapeutic (pharmacological, activation based, environmental and training based) methods promoting and completing posttraumatic recovery  after acquired brain injury
  • Development and utilization of neuroscientific animal models


Research group memberships

  • Department of Psychology: the Unit for Cognitive Neuroscience (UCN)
  • Department of Psychology: Centre for Integrative Cognitive Neuroscience (CInCoN)
  • Department of Psychology: Brain Rehabilitation, Advanced Technology and Learning Laboratory (BRATLab)
  • Danish Integrative Neurorehabilitation Alliance (DINEA) (Head)
  • Research Centre for Brain Injury Rehabilitation (ReCBIR) (Director)
  • ProGram – Programme of Excellence at University of Copenhagen (co-PI)
  • GluTarget – Programme of Excellence at University of Copenhagen



Research: brief description

The overreaching research topics of Jesper Mogensen are the neurocognitive organization and reorganization of the normal and injured/disease affected brain as well as neuroplasticity (with special emphasis on experience-associated neuroplasticity). These topics are addressed utilizing a broad spectrum of experimental as well as theoretical approaches. Experimental approaches include an extensive use of animal models (with special emphasis on traumatic brain injury and cognitive/behavioural processes associated with problem solving). But the experimental work also includes human studies addressing normal neurocognitive processes and the consequences of brain injury as well as the posttraumatic processes associated with cognitive and neural reorganizations. At the theoretical level the development and utilization of the neurocognitive REF (Reorganization of Elementary Functions) model has been in focus. The point of departure when developing the REF-model was the apparent contradictions between functional localization and posttraumatic functional recovery (e.g. Mogensen & Malá, 2009). The REF-model has, however, subsequently been developed into a more general account of neurocognitive mechanisms in both the normal and injured brain (e.g. Mogensen, 2014, 2015). Furthermore, a next step has been taken by applying the mechanisms described by the REF-model to the areas of perception and conscious awareness – leading to the development of the REFCON-model (e.g. Overgaard & Mogensen, 2014, 2015). Ongoing research is presently developing REF-model based neurocognitive modelling (including mathematical modelling) of additional neurocognitive domains. Thus, the REF-model not only provides a novel basis for the understanding of and clinical developments within neurorehabilitation (especially of patients suffering acquired brain injury) – it also provides a novel approach to the understanding of neurocognitive organization and reorganization of the normal brain. Additionally, the development of the REF and REFCON models represent examples of the ways in which basic research primarily conducted in animal models provides insights which in a translational manner creates a novel approach to and understanding of both pathological and normal processes in humans.


In parallel to the above-described theoretically and modelling-oriented projects the research of Jesper Mogensen includes a broad spectrum of more “applied research”-oriented projects. Numerous research lines address issues related to the development of therapeutic methods within the area of acquired brain injury. Some research lines address the development of novel pharmacological agents (novel application of pre-existing drugs (such as erythropoietin (EPO)) and the development of newly synthesized agents as pharmaceutical agents). Other research lines address the utilization of activation-based methods (such as physical exercise) as well as various types of environmental enrichment in the therapeutic interventions after acquired brain injury. The optimal timing and intensity of posttraumatic cognitive rehabilitative training constitute another research line. In collaboration with clinical units (for instance the member units of ReCBIR (Research Centre for Brain Injury Rehabilitation – of which Jesper Mogensen is the Director)) Jesper Mogensen address a number of the same issues in brain injured patient-populations. As research coordinator for the Centre of Rehabilitation of Brain Injury, Jesper Mogensen presently heads and coordinates clinical studies developing and evaluating clinical therapeutic methods in brain injured patients.


The mentioned collaborations within ReCBIR are far from the only collaboratively organized research activities of Jesper Mogensen. Two prominent examples of such activities are the University of Copenhagen Centre of Excellence ProGram (of which Jesper Mogensen is co-PI) and the interdisciplinary research organization (with Jesper Mogensen as PI) DINEA (Danish Integrative Neurorehabilitation Alliance). The research of ProGram focuses on the neurocognitive mechanisms of linguistic processes with special emphasis on grammar. The theoretical basis of this research is an integration of on the one hand a newly developed linguistic theory of grammar and on the other hand the REF-model. The research of DINEA constitutes highly interdisciplinary (ranging from philosophy via cognitive science and cognitive neuroscience to neuroimaging and molecular biology) studies of the neurocognitive organization of the brain. The theoretical basis for the research of DINEA is the REF and REFCON models.


Current research projects

  • Neurocognitive mechanisms of problem solving, executive functions, perception and action – experimental studies and modelling
  • Neural plasticity in the normal and injured brain
  • Experience associated re-organization of the neural and cognitive organization of the normal and injured brain
  • Development of activation-based and environmental methods promoting and completing post­traumatic recovery  after acquired brain injury
  • Development of pharmacological agents reducing the extend of traumatic brain injury and/or promoting and completing posttraumatic recovery  after acquired brain injury



Major grants

Recipient of 46 major stipends and grants – including:

  • Major grants from the Free Danish Research Foundations, presently a “research centre grant” to ReCBIR – and
  • co-PI on the University of Copenhagen “Programme of Excellence” ProGram



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

  • Bachelor’s theses 
  • Master’s theses
  • Biological psychology and neuropsychology (course coordinator)
  • Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuroplasticity
  • Neurorehabilitation
  • Neuroscience


Selected publications (recent – since 2002)

Gram, M.G., Wogensen, E., Wörtwein, G., Mogensen, J. & Malá, H. (in press). Therapeutic effect of a delayed restraint procedure on recovery of spatial function after fimbria-fornix transection. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, in press. Doi 10.3233/RNN-140396


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, 1629: 182-195.


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, 2015: 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: 34-44.


Overgaard, M. & Mogensen, J. (2015). Reconciling current approaches to blindsight. Consciousness and Cognition, 32: 33-40.


Mogensen, J. (2015). Recovery, compensation and reorganization in neuropathology – levels of conceptual and methodological challenges. In: Tracy, J.I., Hampstead, B.M. & Sathian, K. (Eds.), Cognitive Plasticity in Neurologic Disorders. New York: Oxford University Press; pp. 3-28.


Mogensen, J. (2014). Reorganization of Elementary Functions (REF) after brain injury and in the intact brain: A novel understanding of neurocognitive organization and reorganization. In: Costa, J. & Villalba, E. (Eds.) Horizons in Neuroscience Research. Vol. 15. New York: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.; pp. 99-140.


Overgaard, M. & Mogensen, J. (2014). Visual perception from the perspective of a representational, non-reductionistic, level-dependent account of perception and conscious awareness. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, Series B: Biological Sciences. 369: 20130209.


Sommer, J.B., Norup, A., Poulsen, I. & Mogensen, J. (2013). Cognitive activity limitations one year post-trauma in patients admitted to sub-acute rehabilitation after severe traumatic brain injury. Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 45: 778-784.


Andreasen, J.T., Gynther, M., Rygaard, A., Bøgelund, T., Nielsen, S.D., Clausen, R.P., Mogensen, J. & Pickering, D.S. (2013). Does increasing the ratio of AMPA-to-NMDA receptor mediated neurotransmission engender antidepressant action? Studies in the mouce forced swim and tail suspension tests. Neuroscience Letters, 546: 6-10.


Malá, H., Arnberg, K., Chu, D., Nedergaard, S.K., Witmer, J. & Mogensen, J. (2013). Only repeated administration of the serotonergic agonist 8‑OH‑DPAT improves place learning of rats subjected to fimbria-fornix transection. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 109: 50-58.


Andreasen, J.T., Bach, A., Gynther, M., Nasser, A., Mogensen, J., Strømgaard, K. & Pickering, D.S. (2013). UCCB01‑125, a dimeric inhibitor of PSD‑95, reduces inflammatory pain without disrupting cognitive or motor performance: comparison with the NMDA receptor antagonist MK‑801. Neuropharmacology, 67: 193-200.


Mogensen, J. (2012). Reorganization of Elementary Functions (REF) after brain injury: Implications for the therapeutic interventions and prognosis of brain injured patients suffering cognitive impairments. In: Schäfer, A.J. & Müller, J. (Eds.), Brain Damage: Causes, Management and Prognosis. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc.; pp. 1-40.


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: 40-51.


Mogensen, J. (2012). Cognitive recovery and rehabilitation after brain injury: mechanisms, challenges and support. In: Agrawal, A. (Ed.), Brain Injury – Functional Aspects, Rehabilitation and Prevention. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech; pp. 121-150.


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: 18-25.


Wilms, I. & Mogensen, J. (2011). Dissimilar outcomes of apparently similar procedures as a challenge to clinical neurorehabilitation and basic research – when the same is not the same. NeuroRehabilitation, 29:221-227.


Mogensen, J. (2011). Almost unlimited potentials of a limited neural plasticity: Levels of plasticity in development and reorganization of the injured brain. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 18:13-45.


Mogensen, J. (2011). Animal models in neuroscience. In: Hau, J. & Schapiro, S.J. (Eds.), Handbook of Laboratory Animal Science, Third Edition, Volume II. Animal Models. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC; pp. 47-73.


Overgaard, M. & Mogensen, J. (2011). A framework for the study of multiple realizations: The importance of levels of analysis. Frontiers in Psychology, 2:79, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00079


Mogensen, J. (2011). Reorganization in the injured brain: implications for studies of the neural substrate of cognition. Frontiers in Psychology, 2:7, 1-10, Doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2011.00007


Mogensen, J. & Malá, H. (2009). Post-traumatic functional recovery and reorganization in animal models. A theoretical and methodological challenge. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 50:561-573.


Malá, H. & Mogensen, J. (2008). Improved posttraumatic acquisition of a place learning task after repeated administration of a serotonergic agonist 8-OH-DPAT. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, 22: 575.


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: 1-7.


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, C., 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: 215-221.


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: 1647-1657.


Mogensen, J., Hjortkjær, J., Ibervang, K.L., Stedal, K. & 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, 73: 86-95.


Malá, H., Alsina, C.G., Madsen, K.S., la Cour Sibbesen, E., Stick, H. & Mogensen, J. (2005). Erythropoietin improves place learning in an 8-arm radial maze in fimbria-fornix transected rats. Neural Plasticity, 12: 329-340.


Mogensen, J., Moustgaard, A., Khan, U., Wörtwein, G. & Nielsen, K.S. (2005). Egocentric spatial orientation in a water maze by rats subjected to transection of the fimbria-fornix and/or ablation of the prefrontal cortex. Brain Research Bulletin, 65: 41-58.


Mogensen, J., Lauritsen, K.T., Elvertorp, S., Hasman, A., Moustgaard, A. & Wörtwein, G. (2004). Place learning and object recognition by rats subjected to transection of the fimbria-fornix and/or ablation of the prefrontal cortex. Brain Research Bulletin, 63: 217-236.


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, 77: 381-390.


Mogensen, J., Malá, H., Vangkilde, S.A. & Nordfang, M. (2003). Retention and reversals of a sequential behavioural task after prefrontal cortical lesions in the rat. Homeostasis in Health and Disease, 42: 110-121.


Mogensen, J., Moustgaard, A., Møller, S.B., Førster, P. & Horsager, M. (2003). Impaired acquisition and retention of an egocentric spatial orientation task in a water maze by rats subjected to ablations of the prefrontal cortex. Homeostasis in Health and Disease, 42: 97-109.


Mogensen, J., Svendsen, G., Lauritsen, K.T., Ermens, P., Hasman, A., Elvertorp, S., Plenge, P., Mellerup, E. & Wörtwein, G. (2003). Associative and non-associative learning after chronic imipramine in rats. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 76: 197‑212.


Mogensen, J., Montero, A. and Wörtwein, G. (2003). Analysis of response patterns during prefrontally ablated rats’ acquisition of an “egocentric” spatial task in an 8-arm radial-maze. Homeostasis in Health and Disease, 42: 52-59.


Mogensen, J., Døngart, R., Wegener, J. and Malá, H. (2003). Place learning with and without observation from the goal position: effects of prefrontal cortical ablations in the rat. Homeostasis in Health and Disease, 42: 38-51.


Mogensen, J., Jespersen, K.H., Nielsen, N.H. & Malá, H. (2003). Shifts between responses and strategies in rats after ablations of the prefrontal cortex. Homeostasis in Health and Disease, 42: 29-37.


Mogensen, J., Mellentin, C. & Moustgaard, A. (2003). Virtually unimpaired acquisition of a sequential behavioural task after prefrontal cortical lesions in the rat. Homeostasis in Health and Disease, 42: 18-28.


Mogensen, J., Wörtwein, G., Plenge, P. & Mellerup, E.T. (2003). Serotonin, locomotion, exploration, and place recall in the rat. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 75: 381-395.


Mogensen, J., Christensen, L.H., Johansson, A., Wörtwein, G., Bang, L.E. & Holm, S. (2002). Place learning in scopolamine treated rats: the roles of distal cues and catecholaminergic mediation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 78: 139-166.

ID: 11378