Professor Ole Jensen MSc, PhD

Professor Ole Jensen

School of Psychology
Professor in Translational Neuroscience

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Ole Jensen is a leading expert on neuronal oscillations in humans and animals. He is co-director of the Centre for Human Brain Heath. In his investigations he uses magnetoencephalography (MEG) in combination with other techniques. In 2016 he received the Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award and in 2018 the Joseph Chamberlain Award for Academic Advancement at University of Birmingham. Jensen's research is funded by a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator award, the James S. McDonnell Foundation. the BBSRC and several EU Horizon 2020 Marie Curie fellowships.


Professor Ole Jensen did his MSc in electrical engineering at The Technical University of Denmark and Universite Libre de Bruxelles in Belgium.He then completed his PhD in neuroscience at Brandeis University, US. He worked as a postdoctoral researcher specializing in MEG at the Low Temperature Laboratory at Helsinki University of Technology, Finland. Subsequently he worked as a principal investigator at The Donders Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, The Netherlands where he was appointed Professor. In 2016 he took up the post of Professor at the University of Birmingham.


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The main goal of Ole Jensen’s research is to understand how oscillatory activity shapes the functional architecture of the working brain during cognitive processing. While modulations of alpha band oscillations (8-13 Hz) reflect anticipatory top-down modulation, bottom-up processing is reflected by gamma band synchronization (30-100 Hz).

Specifically, the core hypothesis states that neuronal communication is gated by inhibitory alpha oscillations in task-irrelevant regions, thus routing information to task-relevant regions. According to this framework the brain can be studied as a network by investigating cross-frequency interactions between gamma and alpha activity.

The research tools applied by Jensen’s group include computational modeling, MEG, EEG combined with fMRI, EEG combined with TMS and intracranial recordings. These tools are applied to investigate and interpret data from humans and animals performing attention and memory tasks. Furthermore the group investigates these mechanism to understand the basis of attention problems in ADHD patients and the aging population.

Recently he established a Optically Pumped Magnetometers laboratory at the Centre for Brain Health to developed new types of MEG sensors. 

See Ole Jensen's Neuronal Oscillations website

Other activities

Ole Jensen is academic editor of the journal PLOS Biology, eLife and editorial board member of Brain Connectivity. He is frequently panel member of various funding organisations e.g. the Norwegian Research Council, and the Wellcome Trust. 

He is chair of the International Conference on Biomagnetism 2020 (BIOMAG2020) in Birmingham. He is member of the committee of the International Conference of Cognitive Neuroscience (ICON2017 and ICON2020) and the program committee (mini-symposia) for the conference of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society. 


Jensen has published more that 170 papers (h-index 65) in internally peer reviewed journals (see

Representative publications: 

Bahramisharif, A., Jensen, O., Jacobs, J., and Lisman, J.E. (2018) Serial Representation Of Items During Working Memory Maintenance At Letter Selective Cortical Sites. PLoS Biology  Aug 15;16(8):e2003805.

Staudigl, T., Hartl, E., Noachtar, S., Doeller, C.F., Jensen, O. (2017) Saccades are phase-locked to alpha oscillations in the occipital and medial temporal lobe  during successful memory encoding. PLoS Biol. 15(12):e2003404.

Popov, T., Kastner, S., and Jensen, O. (2017) FEF-Controlled Alpha Delay Activity Precedes Stimulus-Induced Gamma-Band Activity in Visual Cortex. J Neurosci. 37(15):4117-4127.

Marshall, T.R., Bergmann, T.O., and Jensen, O. (2015) Fronto-parietal structural connectivity mediates the top-down control of neuronal synchronization associated with selective attention. PLOS Biology 13:e1002272

Lozano-Soldevilla, D., ter Huurne, N., Cools, R., and Jensen, O. (2014) GABAergic modulation of visual gamma and alpha oscillations and its consequences for working memory performance. Curr Biol 24:2878-2887.

Zumer, J., Scheeringa, R., Schoffelen, J.M., Norris, D.G., and Jensen, O. (2014) Occipital alpha activity during stimulus processing gates the information flow to object selective cortex. PLOS Biol 12(10):e1001965

Lozano-Soldevilla, D., ter Huurne, N., Cools, R., and Jensen, O. (2014) GABAergic modulation of visual gamma and alpha oscillations and its consequences for working memory performance. Curr Biol 24:2878-2887.

Jensen, O., Gips, B., Bergmann, T.O.,, and Bonnefond, M. (2014) Temporal coding organized by coupled alpha and gamma oscillations prioritize visual processing. Trends in Neurosci 37:357-369

Lisman, J.E and Jensen, O. (2013) The theta-gamma neural code. Neuron 77:1002-1016.

Spaak, E., Bonnefond, M., Maier, A., Leopold, D.A..and Jensen, O. (2012) Layer-specific entrainment of gamma-band neural activity by the alpha rhythm in monkey visual cortex. Curr Biol 22:2313-2318

Bonnefond, M. and Jensen, O. (2012) Anticipatory adjustment of power and phase of alpha oscillations protects working memory maintenance against distracters. Curr Biol 22:1969-1974.

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