Vilde Brecke


PhD Candidate, Doctorate


Research groups


Doctoral Project: Zooming in and out on brain structure in obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Purpose and Content: In this project, we examine the relationships between brain structure, demographic variables, and clinical measurements. We are interested in understanding more about the connection between potential differences in brain structure, factors that may contribute to this, and what kind of impact this has on individuals with OCD in terms of the severity of the disorder and improvement after treatment.

In three studies, we examine:

  1. The integrity of four tracts in the brain before and after concentrated cognitive-behavioural therapy with exposure and response prevention treatment (CBT-ERP) in adults with OCD from Norway.
  2. The total volume of the thalamus as well as the region's functional subunits before and after CBT-ERP treatment in children and adults with OCD from Norway and the Netherlands.
  3. The total volume of the amygdala and hippocampus along with their functional subunits in children, adolescents, and adults with OCD from 32 countries across five continents.

We have chosen these brain structures as focus areas due to their important roles in cognitive and emotional tasks. If we can better understand the mechanisms that contribute to OCD and also exacerbate the condition, we can also tailor support, treatment, and ultimately achieve better results in reaching the goal of making life more manageable and enjoyable.

Supervisors: Olga Therese Ousdal, Anders Lillevik Thorsen, Odile A. van den Heuvel, and Bjarne Kristian Aaslie Hansen.