Nouchine Hadjikhani


Department of Psychiatry and
Visiting address
Blå stråket 5 vån 5 su/sahlgrenska
41345 Göteborg
Postal address
Su sahlgrenska
41345 Göteborg

About Nouchine Hadjikhani

Nouchine Hadjikhani, MD, PhD is Professor in Experimental Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, since 2019, and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, where she has been Faculty since the late nineties. She is an author of more than 130 peer-review articles and 16 books, book chapters and other publications.

In her work, she has employed neuroanatomy, histology, Positron Emission Tomography (PET), functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), electroencephalography (EEG), magnetoencephalography (MEG) as well as behavioural methods, including eye-tracking and sensors, to study the normal and the diseased brain. Her present research is centred on two brain conditions that have in common an imbalance between brain’s excitatory and inhibitory systems: autism and migraine.

In the field of autism, she demonstrated that "low level" visual processing is normal in individuals with autism, ruling out a bottom-up deficit. She was also the first to provide data disproving a popular theory stating that individuals with autism are lacking the brain area devoted to face identification (the “fusiform face area”, or FFA). More recently, she demonstrated that affective empathy is preserved in individuals with autism. Her current work is dedicated to understanding the neural bases of the social difficulties in ASD, and to develop neural biomarkers that will help to objectify the effect of therapeutic approaches, both behavioural and pharmacological. Her latest research addresses the roots of eye-contact difficulties in autism, and how to improve them.

Professor Hadjikhani’s group has also done impressive work in the field of migraine visualizing the changes in neuronal activity during migraine aura. She has since then been studying long-term consequences of migraine on brain anatomy and function, and more recently has demonstrated that migraine attacks result in neuroinflammation in the brain.

For her outstanding research in the field of autism she shared the Leenaards Award in 2010 and received Niclas Öberg Life Watch Award in 2016.