Helle Kristine Falkenberg


Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Department of Optometry, Radiography and Lighting Design
Campus Kongsberg (5335)
Falkenberg has a PhD in Vision Science from Glasgow Caledonian University, and she did a post-doc in vision rehabilitation at UCL, London. She trained and practiced as an optometrist in both Norway and the UK, and has worked in Norway since 2007. She has extensive experience in teaching and supervision of interdisciplinary undergraduate and post-graduate students, and for continuing education of students across professions and disciplines. Falkenberg was for 6.5 years the program director for the Nordic interdisciplinary Master in vision rehabilitation in collaboration with University of Gothenburg, the coordinator for the European Diploma of optometry and optics, and course coordinator in the Master in Optometry and Visual Science program. Falkenberg is a member of the National Center for Optics, Vision and Eye Care where she does research on interdisciplinary cooperation and knowledge translation regarding normal age-related vision changes and lighting, vision problems after stroke, visual perception and vision rehabilitation. She has secured funding for several research projects, including interdisciplinary knowledge translation projects on Vision in Stroke and has participated in several EU applications. She is the initiator and leader of the large interdisciplinary Norwegian Vision in Stroke (NorVIS) network. She has presented at several international conferences across disciplines. Her national and international networks are broad, within eye health, municipal and specialist health services, education and user organizations. Falkenberg is on the editorial board of the Scandinavian Journal of Optometry and Vision Science, a board member of the European Society of Low vision Research and Rehabilitation (ESLRR) council, and has participated in several international scientific committees. She is a member of the Norwegian optometry association and the UK College of Optometrists. She has been an advisor on several projects regarding vision in older adults, readability of digital interfaces and universal design. Falkenberg has extensive experience in local and national popular science dissemination, including national TV and radio.



Area of interests: Vision, light and ageing, contrast sensitivity, vision ergonomics, motion perception, vision rehabilitation, knowledge translation & interdisciplinary collaboration, vision rehabilitation, ensory loss in ageing

Teaching areas: Visual Perception, Ageing and vision, Vision Rehabilitation, Age-related macular degeneration, Vision and stroke

Popular science: Helle K. Falkenberg – Powered by PechKucha: Du ser med hjernen.


ORCID Researcher unique identifier: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7532-442X

Puclications in http://www.cristin.no/as/WebObjects/cristin.woa/wa/personVis?type=PERSON&pnr=323466&la=no&instnr=222

Research gate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Helle_Falkenberg


Doctor of Philosophy (2005), Glasgow Caledonian University, UK. Thesis: An ideal observer approach to development of motion perception in normal and abnormal vision.

Professional Qualifying Exams (PQE) (1999) British College of Optometrists, UK

BSc Optometry and Vision Science (1998), Glasgow Caledonian University, UK

Degree in Optometry (1996), Kongsberg College of Engineering & Authorized health care personnel, N


2006-present Associate professor, University of South-Eastern Norway USN, (Hibu merged to HBV then, HSN and in 2018 USN)

2015-present Program Director MSc Vision Rehabilitation, USN & GU                                       

2013-present Program coordinator European Diploma in Optometry, USN                                    

2015-present Visiting lecturer, Dept Special Education, University of Gothenburg (GU), S            

2007 Hon Visiting Research Associate, UCL-Inst of ophthalmology, London, UK           

2003-06 Research Fellow, Vision Rehabilitation, UCL-Inst of ophthalmology, London, UK    

2003-06 Hon Res Fellow & session optom, Moorfields Eye Hospital Low Vision Clinic, UK   

2004-06 Visiting lecturer, Dep Optometry and Vision Science, City University, London, UK   

1998-07 Locum Optometrist, Norway and UK                                                                                  



2017 – 2020 Principal supervisor Torgeir Mathisen, “CROSS- Competence Rehabilitation Of Sight problems after Stroke in Community Health Care”. (quantitative and qualitative methods)

2017            Co-supervisor Gro Vikesdal Hagen, “Eye Movements in children with reading disorders, attention disorders and coordination disorders”. Principal supervisor: Dr. T Langaas. (quantitative methods).

2014           Principal supervisor Lotte-Guri Bogfjellmo, “The effect of development and ageing on direction discrimination of global motion in a healthy Norwegian population”. (quantitative methods)

>30 MSc students with qualitative or quantitative methods

SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT EXPERIENCE R&D PROJECTS: Secured external funding for >18.2 mill NOK (Selection of projects)

2020 (NOK 18 mill) Co-PI "More good days at home: Advancing health promoting practices in municipal healthcare services for older recipients of home care" NRC PI: Grethe Eilertsen

2019 (NOK 5 mill) PI “Norwegian Vision in Stroke (NorVIS) network”, NRC Bedrehelse, February http://2019 https://prosjektbanken.forskningsradet.no/#/project/NFR/299074 

2018 (NOK 200 000) PI, “Traumatic brain injury and vision rehabilitation” Fylkesmannen, With Kongsberg Municipality

2017 (NOK 200 000) PI, “Vision rehabilitation after Stroke- knowledge transfer in community health care”. Norwegian Association of the Blind and partially sighted.

2016 (NOK 15 000) Personal travel grant presenting “Improving outcome in stroke survivors with visual problems: Knowledge translation in a multidisciplinary stroke unit intervention study” American Academy of Optometry Anaheim, USA, C-optikk

2016 (NOK 2,4 mill) PI, “CROSS - Competence Rehabilitation Of Sight problems after Stroke in community health care”. The Norwegian ExtraFoundation for Health and Rehabilitation, PhD scholarship. With Kongsberg municipality, LHL Hjerneslag (Stroke), Norwegian Stroke Association, Norwegian Association of the Blind and partially sighted (project owner).

2016 (NOK 100 000) PI, “Digital legibility in ageing”. Papirbredden innovation

2012-2014 (NOK 1.26 mill) PI, “CROSS – Competence Rehabilitation Of Sight problems after Stroke in hospitals”.  The Norwegian Directory of Health. With Vestre Viken HT, Norwegian Stroke Association, Norwegian Association of the Blind and partially sighted

2014 (NOK 280 000) Co-PI, “Implementing Universal design in higher education” Universell.no With Vitensenteret USN, Drammen

2012 (1.4 mill) PI “Oslofjordalliance: Strategic health- and social science collaboration” With Vestfold University College, Østfold University College and Norwegian University of Life Science

2007 (NOK 6 mill) Co-PI, “Vision and aging –Normal aging og the living human retina: Studies into the structure-function relationship of vision”, Norwegian Research Council . PI: Dr R Barraas 



  1. Brunes, A., Falkenberg, H. K., Berndtsson, I. C. & Heir, T. (2021) Use and underutilization of mobility aids    in individuals with visual impairment (in review Acta Ophthalmologica)

  2. Vikesdal, G. H., Falkenberg, H. K., Mon-Williams, M. & Langaas, T. (2021) Saccades and fixation stability in a population of children with dyslexia (in review SJOVS)

  3. Mathisen T. S., Ormstad, H. K., Eilertsen, L. G. and Falkenberg, H. K., (2021) "Barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a structured visual assessment after stroke in municipal health care services. A knowledge translation study". BMC Health Services. 20, 628 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-021-06467-4  
  4. ​Thorud H.-M. S., Aurjord, R. & Falkenberg, H. K. (in press) Neck, shoulder and upper back pain in children and headaches– the role of vision Scientific Report. 11:293  www.nature.com/articles/s41598-021-81497-w
  5. Falkenberg, H. K., Johansen, T. R. & Thorud H.-M. S. (2020) Headache, eyestrain, and musculoskeletal symptoms in relation to smartphone and tablet use in healthy adolescents. Scandinavian Journal of Optometry and Vision Science. 13, 8-14 https://doi.org/10.5384/sjovs.vol13i2p8-14 

  6. Falkenberg, H. K., Mathisen T. S., Ormstad, H. K., and Eilertsen, L. G. (2020) “Invisible visual impairments”: stroke survivors’ experiences living with visual impairments and the lack of focus on vision in stroke care BMC Health Services Research 2020:302 https://doi.org/10.1186/s12913-020-05176-8

  7. Falkenberg, H. K., Langaas, T., & Svarverud E.  (2019) Undetected vision problems among School Children Aged 7-15 Years. BMC Opthalmology. 19:180. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12886-019-1178-y
  8. Mork, R., Fostervold K. I., Falkenberg H. K., Thorud H.-M. S. (2019) Visual and psychological stress during computer work in young, healthy women; the effects on trapezius muscle blood flow and muscle activity, heart rate and fixation disparity. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00420-019-01457-w  
  9. Falkenberg, H. K., Kvikstad, T. M., & Eilertsen, G. (2019) Improved indoor lighting improved healthy ageing at home –an intervention study in 77-year olds. Journal of Multidiciplinary Healthcare. 12, 315-324 https://doi.org/10.2147/JMDH.S198763
  10. Mork, R., Fostervold K. I., Falkenberg H. K., Thorud H.-M. S. (2018) Visual- and psychological stress during computer work in healthy, young females – Physiological responses. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health https://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-018-1324-5
  11. Hustuft, I-L., Falkenberg, H. K., Kristiansen, B. E. & Sundling V. (2017) Små barn med synssvekkelser i en digital verden. Spesialpedagogikk, 4, 37-48
  12. Eilertsen, G., Horgen, G., Kvikstad., T. M., & Falkenberg, H. K. (2016) Happy living in darkness! The indoor lighting in relation to activities of daily living, visual and general health in 75-year olds living at home. Journal of the housing for the elderly. 30:2, 199-213 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02763893.2016.1162256
  13. Joshi, M. R. & Falkenberg, H. K. (2015) Development of Optic Flow Sensitivity in School-aged Children of Kathmandu. Vision Research, 110, 68-75 10.1016/j.visres.2015.03.006
  14. Falkenberg, H. K., Dutton, G. N., Simpson, W. A., (2014) Motion sensitivity in school-aged children with normal visual development. Vision Research 100, 8-17 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.visres.2014.04.001
  15. Bogfjellmo, L-G, Bex, P. J. and Falkenberg, H. K. (2014) The development of global and local motion discrimination in school aged children. Journal of Vision 14(2) 19; doi:10.1167/14.2.19
  16. Bogfjellmo, L-G, Bex, P. J. and Falkenberg, H. K. (2013) Reduction in Direction Discrimination With Age and Slow Speed Is Due to Both Increased Internal Noise and Reduced Sampling Efficiency. Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science 54:5204-5210
  17. Horgen, G., Eilertsen, G., and Falkenberg, H. K (2012) Lighting Old Age-how lighting impacts the ability to grow old in own housing, part one. Work, 41, 3385-3387
  18. Burner, T., Baraas, R. C., and Falkenberg, H. K. (2011) Studentaktive vurderingsformer i norsk lærer- og optometriutdanning, Uniped, 34, 1, 44-57
  19. Falkenberg, H. K. and Bex, P. J. (2007) Sources of Motion Sensitivity Loss in Glaucoma, Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science 48 (6): 2913-21
  20. Falkenberg, H. K. and Bex, P.J. (2007) Contextual Modulation of the Motion Aftereffect, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, 33 (2): 257-70
  21. Falkenberg, H. K., Rubin G. and Bex, P.J. (2007) Acuity, Crowding, Reading and Fixation Stability, Vision Research 47(1):126-35
  22. Bex, P.J. and Falkenberg, H. K. (2006) Resolution of Complex Motion Detectors in Central and Peripheral Visual Field, JOSA, 23, 1598-1607
  23. Simpson, W. A., Falkenberg, H. K, Manahilov,V. (2003). Sampling efficiency and internal noise for motion detection, discrimination, and summation Vision Research, 43, 2125-2132
  24. Pearce EI, Tomlinson A, Blades KJ, Falkenberg HK, Lindsay B, Wilson CG (2002), Effect of an oil and water emulsion on tear evaporation rate In, Lacrimal Gland, Tear Film and Dry Eye Syndromes 3. DA Sullivan et al (Eds)   Adv Exp Med Biol, 506, 419-23.


BOOK contribution:

Falkenberg H.K. (2017) Quality of Light – Quality of Life. In Zielinska- Dabkowska, K.M; Rohde, M.F. (Eds), New Perspectives on the Future of Healthy Light and Lighting in Daily Life. Callidus. Verlag wissenschaftlicher Publikationen, Wismar 2017, p. 52-55. ISBN 9783940677617

REFEREED CONFERENCE ABSTRACTS (Recent selection >40 peer reviewed conference abstracts)

1. Mathisen, T. S., Ormstad, H. K. and Eilertsen, G., Falkenberg, H. K. (2018). Visual impairment after stroke; strokesurvivor’s experiences of acute care and follow up. Scand J Optom Vis Sci Volume 11 s. 3-3

2. Falkenberg, H. K., Kvikstad, T.M, Eilertsen, G. (2018) Light and ageing Scand J Optom Vis Sci Volume 11 s. 7-8

3. Falkenberg, H. K. Langeggen, I., Mathisen, T. S., Ormstad, H. K. and Eilertsen, G., (2018) Stroke rehabilitation should include visual examination in acute and early rehabilitation in multidisciplinary stroke units. Eu Academy Optometry and Optics, Croatia, May 2018

4. Falkenberg, H. K., Langeggen, I. Ormstad, H. and Eilertsen, G., (2017) Stroke patients–do they need to see clearly? Vision2017, NL

5. Hustuft, I-L., Falkenberg, H. K., Kristiansen, B. E. and Sundling V (2017) Preschool children with visual impairments - included in the digital world? Vision2017, NL

6. Benonisen, S., Sundling V, Kristiansen, B. E. and Falkenberg, H. K (2017) Young children with blindness in a universe of digitally tools. Vision2017, NL

7. Falkenberg H.K. (2017) Quality of Light – Quality of Life. In Zielinska- Dabkowska, K.M; Rohde, M.F. (Eds), New Perspectives on the Future of Healthy Light and Lighting in Daily Life. Callidus. Verlag wissenschaftlicher Publikationen, Wismar 2017, p. 52-55.

8. Mork, R., Fostervold K. I., Falkenberg H. K., Thorud H.-M. S. (2017) Computer work with exposure to direct glare and psychological stress 49th Annual Conference of Nordic Ergonomics and Human Factors Society, 20-23. August Lund, Sweden. NES2017 Conference Proceedings. ISBN 978-91-7753-152-4. s 116

9. Langeggen, I., Eilertsen, G., Ormstad, H. K., Mathisen, T., Midskogen, A-I. H. and Falkenberg, H. K. (2016) Knowledge translation of vision rehabilitation in a multidisciplinary stroke unit. Scand J Optom Vis Sci Volume 9 s 16

10. Mork, R., Fostervold, K. I., Falkenberg, H. K. and Thorud, H-M. S. (2016) Exposure to Direct Glare during Computer Work and increased Muscle Blood Flow in the Neck. Scand J Optom Vis Sci Volume 9 s 17

11. Falkenberg, H. K., Langeggen, I. Ormstad, H. K. and Eilertsen, G., (2016) Improving outcome in stroke survivors with visual problems: Knowledge translation in a multidisciplinary stroke unit intervention study American academy of optometry, USA 9-12 November, Anaheim USA Nov 2016

12. Mork, R., Fostervold K. I., Falkenberg H. K., Thorud H.-M. S. (2016) How does direct glare and psychological stress affect young women during computer work? Nes2016 - ergonomics in theory and practice - Proceedings of 48th Annual Conference of Nordic Ergonomics and Human Factors Society, 242-244 ISBN 978-952-61-2192-5

13. Falkenberg, H. K., & Eilertsen, G. (2015) Happy living in darkness- even happier living in the light. Older Norwegians experience improved ability to perform activities of daily living with improved indoor light. Scand J Optom Vis Sci Volume 8 s. 4-4

14. Bogfjellmo, L-G, Bex, P. J. & Falkenberg, H. K. (2014) Direction discrimination of global motion low contrast patterns in school aged children Investigative ophthalmology and visual science, 55:2742

15. Falkenberg, H. K., Langaas, T., & Svarverud E. (2014) Outcomes of Large Sample Vision Screening among School Children Aged 7-15 Years in Norway Investigative ophthalmology and visual science, 55:5570

16. Svarverud E.,  Langaas, T., & Falkenberg, H. K. (2014) The Effectiveness of Vision Screening for Visual Problems in School Children Investigative ophthalmology and visual science, 55:5570

17. Falkenberg, H. K., Dugstad, J. H., Eilertsen, L. G.,  Langeggen, I. and Ormstad, H. K. (2013) Improving vision care among older people: Training programs to enhance competence among multidisciplinary hospital and nursing home staff. Scand J Optom Vis Sci Volum 6.(2) s. 2-2

18. Falkenberg, H. K., Langeggen, I. and Dugstad, J. (2013) Is the vision care provided to Norwegian nursing home residents adequate? Journal of Nutrition, health & ageing 17, s178

19. Egilsdottir, O., Falkenberg, H. K. Horgen, G., & Eilertsen, G. (2013) Lighting old age: Age-related vision changes require increased lighting and universal design. Journal of Nutrition, health & ageing, 17, s164

20. Eilertsen, G., Horgen, G., Kvikstad, T. M. Egilsdottir, O. & Falkenberg, H. K. (2013) Happy living in darkness: The indoor lighting at home in relation to activities of daily living and health - a descriptive study Journal of Nutrition, health & ageing, 17, s164

21. Falkenberg, H. K., Horgen, G., Kvikstad, T. M. Egilsdottir, O. & Eilertsen, G. (2013) Happier living in the light: The effect of optimizing the indoor lighting on activities of daily living and health - an intervention study study Journal of Nutrition, health & ageing, 17, s164


INVITED TALKS (selection > 20 invited speaker)

1. Falkenberg, H. K. (2019). Vision in Stroke, Norwegian Stroke Association annual meeting, Oslo, 23.3.19

2. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018). Vision and lighting in ageing and stroke – municipal competence building. 1 day CET, Sandefjord Municipality 13.11.18

3. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Vision and stroke [World sight day, NABP] 9.10.

4. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018). Vision and body –what can physiotherapists do? Fysio Oslo, Oslo, 24.09.18

5. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Vision and dementia. CET Senter for fagutvikling og forskning Oslo Municipality. 20.09.18

6. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018). Vision and lighting, Norges Blindeforbund og Norges Optikerforbund, Arendalsuka, arendal, 16.08.18

7. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018). Knowledge translation and vision rehabilitation after stroke in hospital stroke units, Slagforum, Vestre Viken Hospital, Bærum Hospital, 25.04.18

8. Falkenberg, H. K. & Svarverud E. (2018). Contrast sensitivity –theory and testing. Norges Optikerforbund, Molde, 22.04.18

9. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018). Contrast sensitivity in optometric practice,  C-optikk, Gardemoen, 9.02.18

10. Falkenberg, H. K. (2017). Hjerneslag og synsproblemer. Lagsmøte, LHL Hjerneslag, Kongsberg, 1.11.17

11. Falkenberg, H. K. (2017). Synsforstyrrelser etter hjerneslag. Slagkafe, LHL Hjerneslag, Kongsberg, 15 Sept 2017

12. Falkenberg, H. K. (2017). Vision loss after stroke and knowledge translation –multidiciplinary competence building. Syn og Hjerne 2017, Instituttet for Blinde og Svagsynede, Denmark, 6-7.09.17

13. Falkenberg, H. K. (2016) Quality of Light – Quality of Life. 5th international lighting symposium, Wismar Germany 12-14.10.16

14. Falkenberg, H. K. (2016) Vision loss after stroke –municipality health care competence building. 1 day Asker 11.04.16

 MEDIA AND PUBLIC AWARENESS (Selection > 40 tv/radio/newspaper/ video/internet)

1. Falkenberg, H. K. (2019) Eldre har det for mørkt hjemme. [Norwegian Blind and partially sighted] radio 14.01.19 https://www.blindeforbundet.no/fylkeslag/ostfold/lydavis-for-ostfold

2. Falkenberg, H. K. (2019) Eldre har det for mørkt hjemme [nrk.no] national radio 08.01.19 https://radio.nrk.no/serie/distriktsprogram-buskerud/DKBU02000519/08-01-2019?fbclid=IwAR1MaALgUMOhUL9BKWfWwPaE6fRsn1V1mBzhEHZHD1Pi8Ky9rtrI7KUqXhY#t=16m5.24s

3. Falkenberg, H. K. (2019) Eldre har det for mørkt hjemme. [newswire.no] info video and text 08.01.19 https://www.newswire.no/art/11246

4. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Røykeslutt redder syn. [newswire.no] https://www.newswire.no/art/11221

5. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) AMD og røyking. [Norges Blindeforbund] info video https://youtu.be/kvTIq6z2TX8  5.11.18

6. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Øyesykdommen som kommer snikende [Dagbladet] 20.10.18

7. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Er det skadelig å lese med dårlig lys. [Praktisk info med Jon Almaas, TVNorge] national TV 18.10.18

8. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Slagrammede må få utredet synet [forskning.no] op-ed piece https://forskning.no/helsepolitikk-hjernen-kronikk/slagrammede-ma-fa-utredet-synet/1247954

9. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Eldre fikk det bedre da de skrudde på lyset [forskning.no] 1.9.18 https://forskning.no/aldring/eldre-fikk-det-bedre-da-de-skrudde-pa-lyset/1228308

1. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Ny forskning: Barn kan få dårlig syn av skjermbruk [nrk.no] 9.7.18 https://www.nrk.no/buskerud/naer-skjermbruk-kan-gi-barnet-ditt-problemer-1.14117163

2. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Blir barna sliten av skjermbruk? Ta ein tur til optikar [radio p2 Nyhetsmorgen] 9.7.18 https://radio.nrk.no/serie/nyhetsmorgen/NPUB32013518/09-07-2018#t=1h9m3.88s

3. Falkenberg, H. K. (2018) Synsproblemer kan gi nakke- og skulderondt hos barn  [forskning.no] 5.7.18 https://forskning.no/barn-og-ungdom-universitetet-i-sorost-norge-partner/synsproblemer-kan-gi-nakke--og-skuldervondt-hos-barn/1200121 

4. Falkenberg, H. K. (2017) Vet ikke at røyking skader synet [Newswire.no] 11.10.17 http://www.newswire.no/art/11144

5. Falkenberg, H. K. Slik vet du om barnet ditt trenger briller. [foreldreklubben.no, vg.no] 11.08.17 https://familieklubben.no/article/slik-vet-du-om-barnet-trenger-briller/19

6. Falkenberg, H. K. Hvordan skal blinde barn bruke sosiale medier? [Forskning.no] 22.12.16

7. Falkenberg, H. K. Setter ikke grenser for barnas skjermbruk. [Newswire.no] 22.12.16 http://www.newswire.no/art/11086

8. Falkenberg, H. K. Blinde barn trenger sosiale medier [usn.no] 22.12.16

9. Falkenberg, H. K. Dårlig syn gir fysiske plager [Newswire.no] 4.11.16 http://www.newswire.no/art/11052

1. Falkenberg, H. K. Pokémon GO –er det skadelig for synet? [NRK1 Vestfoldsendinga radio] 31.8.16

2. Falkenberg, H. K. Pokémon GO –er det skadelig for synet? [Radio p5 radio] 1.9.16

3. Falkenberg, H. K. Hva mener egentlig synsforskere om Pokémon Go? Internett nyhet og video HSN 30.8.16

4. Falkenberg, H. K. Mange vet ikke at barna deres ser dårlig [Tønsbergs Blad avis] 12.08.16

5. Falkenberg, H. K. Halve verden kan være nærsynt innen 2050. p4 [Radio] 2016-03-09