Meet the expert > Torkel Klingberg

Torkel Klingberg

Professor Torkel Klingberg is the co-founder and chief scientific advisor for Cogmed.

Torkel KlingbergWhere did you study/what did you study/what are your qualifications?

I took my MD and PhD degree at the Karolinska Institute.

What is your professional experience?

All research.

What are your current projects?

We have several projects concerning different types of cognitive training, as well as studies of normal cognitive development in children and how that is connected to genes and the maturation of the brain.

Who have you worked with?

My supervisor was Per Roland, a pioneer in brain research using positron emission tomography. As a post-doc I worked with John Gabrieli at the department of psychology and Michael Moseley who was developing techniques for measuring white matter structure with the MR scanner.

What inspired you to get into this field?

I think it started during adolescence with an interest in the works by Freud and Jung. This led to an interest in the science of psychology, which led to an interest in the connection between the brain and cognitive functions.

If you weren’t a researcher, what would you be?

A surgeon or a writer, or both. For a while I was also tempted to become a professional violinist, but I wasn’t good enough.

What do you do away from work? Hobbies? Favourite bands/sports teams/holiday destinations?

Both culture such as reading fiction and outdoor activities. As for outdoor activities, I like anything connected to the sea: sailing, kayaking, scuba-diving. I spend a lot of time with my two daughters.


Quick questions:

What’s your favourite book (and why)?

“The crying of lot 49” by Thomas Pynchon. It just has an irresistible overflow of ideas combined with a wonderful language.

Who’s your favourite musician/composer/singer (and why)?

Esbjörn Svensson Trio (EST), a Swedish jazz trio crossing between different musical genres. Any album from them would be a favourite, for example Viaticum.

Whom do you most admire (and why)?

Perhaps Robert Sapolsky, an American stress researcher doing important research, writing great books, living an interesting life and being a very likable person.


Professor Torkel Klingberg is the co-founder of Cogmed. You can find out more about his research group at

He also presented at Online Working Memory Week in 2013.


Last updated: March 18, 2014

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