H. Henrik Ehrsson, MD, PhD


Henrik Ehrsson is a cognitive neuroscientist interested in the problem of how we come to sense that we own our body. He considers the identification of multisensory mechanisms by which the central nervous system distinguishes between sensory signals from one's body and those from the environment as the key to solving this problem. By clarifying how the normal brain produces a sense of ownership of one's body, he believes that we can learn to project ownership onto artificial bodies and simulated virtual ones. This research could even enable two people to have the experience of swapping bodies with one another. The multisensory model of body ownership that continues to be developed by Henrik Ehrsson is already being used in the field of neuro-prosthetics and by the virtual reality research community, thereby establishing opportunities for important clinical and industrial applications.

Born in Sweden 1972, he studied medicine and obtained his PhD from Karolinska Institutet. After a four-year postdoc at The Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at University College London, he became an assistant professor at Karolinska Institutet in 2008, and was appointed full professor in 2013. In 2017 he received a 10-year Distinguished Professor Grant from the Swedish Research Council, and in 2018 he was awarded an Advanced Investigator Grant from the European Research Council. Henrik Ehrsson has published over 85 original peer-reviewed scientific works, including several articles in leading scientific journals such as Science, Neuron, PNAS, Current Biology, Nature Communications, PNAS, eLife and The Journal of Neuroscience. According to Web of Science (October 4th 2018), these works have been cited 6808 times and his H-index is 44.

Prizes and and awards

Distinguished Professor Grant from the Swedish Research Council (2018) (Click here to read more).

European Research Council Advanced grant (2017) (Click here to read more).

The Göran Gustafson Prize in medicine, awarded by the Royal Academy of Sweden (2017) (Click here to read more).

The Hans Wigzell Prize (2016).

The James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award in Understanding Human Cognition (2010).

European Research Council Starting Investigator Grant (2007).

Human Frontier Career Development Award (2007).

Sample Publications

Guterstam, A., Björnsdotter, M., Gentile, G., & Ehrsson, H.H. Posterior cingulate cortex integrates the senses of self-location and body ownership. Current Biology 25, 1-10, 2015 PDF

Bergouignan, L., Nyberg, L., Ehrsson, H.H.. Out-of-body-induced hippocampal amnesia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 111(12):4421-6, 2014 PDF

Ehrsson, H.H. (2012). The concept of body ownership and its relation to multisensory integration. In: The New Handbook of Multisensory Processes, B.E. Stein (Ed.), MA: MIT Press (Cambridge) PDF

Petkova V.I., Björnsdotter M, Gentile G, Jonsson T, Li T.Q., & Ehrsson, H.H. From part to whole-body ownership in the multisensory brain. Current Biology. 21 1-5, 2011 PDF

Ehrsson, H.H., Rosén, B., Stockselius, A., Ragnö, C., Köhler, P. and Lundborg, G. Upper limb amputees can be induced to experience a rubber hand as their own. Brain 131, 3443-3452, 2008 PDF

Petkova, V.I. and Ehrsson, H.H. If I were you: perceptual illusion of body swapping. PLoS One, 3(12):e3832, 2008 PDF

Ehrsson, H.H. The experimental induction of out-of-body experiences. Science, 317: 1048, 2007 PDF

Ehrsson, H.H., Spence, C. and Passingham, R.E. ‘That's my hand!’ Activity in the premotor cortex reflects feeling of ownership of a limb. Science, 305:875-877, 2004 PDF

Ehrsson, H.H., Geyer, S. and Naito, E.. Imagery of voluntary movement of fingers, toes, and tongue activates corresponding body-part specific motor representations. J. Neurophysiol. 90: 3304-3316, 2003 PDF

Ehrsson, H.H., Fagergren, A., Jonsson, T., Westling, G., Johansson, R.S. and Forssberg H. Cortical activity in precision versus power-grip tasks: An fMRI study. J. Neurophysiol. 83: 528-536, 2000 PDF

Click here for a comprehensive list of publications, here for a feature article on Henrik Ehrsson's work, and here for a lecture given to undergraduates at the Karolinska, and here for a TEDx talk in Gothenburg for the general public


Henrik Ehrsson, MD, PhD
Department of Neuroscience
Karolinska Institutet
email: henrik.ehrsson @ ki.se
office phone: (+46) 8 524 87 231

Mailing Address:

Karolinska Institutet, Biomedicum, D4
Department of Neuroscience
Tomtebodavägen 16
171 77 Stockholm, Sweden

Visiting Address:

Karolinska Institutet (Solna)
Institutionen för Neurovetenskap
Solnavägen 9
171 65 Solna