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Professor Matthew Lambon Ralph FRSLT (hons), FBPsS

Photograph of Matthew Lambon Ralph

Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience & Associate Vice-President (Research)


Our research makes use of four key methodologies: neuropsychology, computational models (models that can mimic neural organisation in their construction but also produce target behaviours), transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), structural and functional neuroimaging. The various research projects can be summarised under three themes:

(1) Semantic memory : various interlinked projects explore the nature and neural underpinnings of semantic memory or conceptual knowledge, including category-specific disorders. This uses data from semantic dementia, herpes simplex virus encephalitis (HSVE), aphasia after CVA and temporal lobe resection for epilepsy for the neuropsychological investigations and is complemented by TMS, fMRI and MR tractography studies.

(2) Language : there are several ongoing projects exploring different aspects of language production and comprehension, and their neural bases. For neuropsychology, these include a direct comparison of fluent and non-fluent varieties of progressive and non-progressive aphasia; acquired dyslexias and dysgraphias; verb morphology deficits; and verbal short-term memory deficits. We also conduct parallel studies in neurological intact studies utilising experimental psycholingistics, TMS, computational modelling and fMRI studies.

(3) Recovery, rehabilitation and neuroplasticity : As well as concentrating on the nature of chronic and progressive cognitive and language deficits, the third theme is devoted to the study of the neural and cognitive principles that guide recovery and rehabilitation. This includes active rehabilitation programmes, longitudinal neuropsychological assessment of recovery, computational models of neuroplasticity and parallel functional imaging studies of patients.


I obtained my PhD from York University and then worked at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (Cambridge). I moved from there to the University of Bristol, Department of Experimental Psychology, as a Lecturer. I came to Manchester in 2001 as Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience within the School of Psychological Sciences. I am also Associate Vice-President (Research) and Director of the Manchester Doctoral College at the University. I am an Action Editor for Neuropsychological Rehabilitation and on the editorial boards for Cognitive Neuropsychology,  Memory, International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, Alzheimer's Research & Therapy, Psychologia, and Neurocase. I was the President of The British Neuropsychological Society (2010-12) and the Vice-Chair for the British Aphasiology Society (2000-2005). I was made a Fellow (hons) of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists in 2003, Fellow of the British Psychological Society in 2012 and an Honorary Research Professor of the University of Málaga in 2014. I am also a Senior Investigator Emeritus for the NIHR, and awarded the BPS President's Award in 2015.

Collaborators and affiliated staff



  • Prof. Manabu Ikeda
    Kumamoto University Hospital
  • Prof. Beth Jefferies
    University of York
  • Dr. Riki Matsumoto
    Kyoto University
  • Prof. Jay McClelland
    Stanford University
  • Prof. Karalyn Patterson
    MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Cambridge
  • Prof. Tim Rogers
    University of Madison-Wisconsin
  • Dr. Satoru Saito
    Kyoto University


Selected publications


  • Butler, R., Lambon Ralph, M. & Woollams, A (2014).

    Capturing multidimensionality in stroke aphasia: mapping principal behavioural components to neural structures. Brain, 137(Pt 12), 3248-66. eScholarID:246284 | PMID:25348632 | DOI:10.1093/brain/awu286

  • Humphreys, G. & Lambon Ralph, M (2014).

    Fusion and Fission of Cognitive Functions in the Human Parietal Cortex. Cereb Cortex, eScholarID:246303 | PMID:25205661 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhu198

  • Lambon Ralph, M (2014).

    Neurocognitive insights on conceptual knowledge and its breakdown. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci, 369(1634), 20120392. eScholarID:246307 | PMID:24324236 | DOI:10.1098/rstb.2012.0392

  • Shimotake, A., Matsumoto, R., Ueno, T., Kunieda, T., Saito, S., Hoffman, P., Kikuchi, T., Fukuyama, H., Miyamoto, S., Takahashi, R., Ikeda, A. & Lambon Ralph, M (2014).

    Direct Exploration of the Role of the Ventral Anterior Temporal Lobe in Semantic Memory: Cortical Stimulation and Local Field Potential Evidence From Subdural Grid Electrodes. Cereb Cortex, eScholarID:246297 | PMID:25491206 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhu262


  • A.C. Schapiro, J.L. McClelland, S.R. Welbourne, T.T. Rogers, & M.A. Lambon Ralph. (2013).

    Why bilateral damage is worse than unilateral damage to the brain. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25, 2107-2123. eScholarID:212924 | DOI:doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00441

  • K.A. Noonan, E. Jefferies, M. Visser, & M.A. Lambon Ralph. (2013).

    Going beyond inferior prefrontal involvement in semantic control: Evidence for the additional contribution of dorsal angular gyrus and posterior middle temporal cortex. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 25, 1824-1850. eScholarID:209913 | DOI:doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00442


  • Binney, R., Parker, G. & Lambon Ralph, M (2012).

    Convergent connectivity and graded specialization in the rostral human temporal lobe as revealed by diffusion-weighted imaging probabilistic tractography. J Cogn Neurosci, 24(10), 1998-2014. eScholarID:246290 | PMID:22721379 | DOI:10.1162/jocn_a_00263

  • Cloutman, L., Binney, R., Drakesmith, M., Parker, G. & Lambon Ralph, M (2012).

    The variation of function across the human insula mirrors its patterns of structural connectivity: evidence from in vivo probabilistic tractography. Neuroimage, 59(4), 3514-21. eScholarID:163336 | PMID:22100771 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.11.016

  • M. A. Lambon Ralph, S. Ehsan, G. A. Baker and T. T. Rogers. (2012).

    Semantic memory is impaired in patients with unilateral anterior temporal lobe resection for temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain, 135, 242-258. eScholarID:154809 | DOI:10.1093/brain/awr325

  • M. Visser, E. Jefferies, K. Embleton, & M.A. Lambon Ralph. (2012).

    Both the middle temporal gyrus and the ventral anterior temporal area are crucial for multimodal semantic processing: Distortion-corrected fMRI evidence for a double gradient of information convergence in the temporal lobes. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24, 1766-1778. eScholarID:164237 | DOI:10.1162/jocn_a_00244

  • Noonan, K., Pryer, L., Jones, R., Burns, A. & Lambon Ralph, M (2012).

    A direct comparison of errorless and errorful therapy for object name relearning in Alzheimer's disease. Neuropsychol Rehabil, 22(2), 215-34. eScholarID:157976 | PMID:22376314 | DOI:10.1080/09602011.2012.655002

  • Richard J. Binney, Geoffrey J. M. Parker, and Matthew A. Lambon Ralph. (2012).

    Convergent Connectivity and Graded Specialization in the Rostral Human Temporal Lobe as Revealed by Diffusion-Weighted Imaging Probabilistic Tractography. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 24(10), 1998-2014. eScholarID:171248 | DOI:10.1162/jocn_a_00263

  • Robson, H., Sage, K. & Lambon Ralph, M (2012).

    Wernicke's aphasia reflects a combination of acoustic-phonological and semantic control deficits: A case-series comparison of Wernicke's aphasia, semantic dementia and semantic aphasia. Neuropsychologia, 50(2), 266-75. eScholarID:154797 | PMID:22178742 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.11.021


  • C. Whitney, M. Kirk, J. O‚ÄôSullivan, M.A. Lambon Ralph, & E. Jefferies. (2011).

    The neural organization of semantic control: TMS evidence for a distributed network in left inferior frontal and posterior middle temporal gyrus. Cerebral Cortex, 21, 1066-1075. eScholarID:122803 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhq180

  • M. A. Lambon Ralph, S. Ehsan, G. A. Baker and T. T. Rogers. (2011).

    Semantic Memory is impaired in patients with unilateral anterior temporal lobe resection for temporal lobe epilepsy. Brain, eScholarID:135147 | DOI:10.1093/brain/awr325

  • M. Visser, M. A. Lambon Ralph. (2011).

    Differential contributions of the ventral anterior temporal lobe and the anterior superior temporal gyrus to semantic processes. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 23, 3121-3131. eScholarID:135151 | DOI:doi:10.1162/jocn_a_00007

  • T. Ueno, S. Saito, T. T. Rogers and M. A. Lambon Ralph. (2011).

    Lichtheim 2: Synthesizing Aphasia and the Neural Basis of Language in a Neurocomputational Model of the Dual Dorsal-Ventral Language Pathways. Neuron, 72(2), 385. eScholarID:130795 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuron.2011.09.013


  • G. Pobric, E. Jefferies, & M.A. Lambon Ralph. (2010).

    Category-specific versus category-general semantic impairment induced by transcranial magnetic stimulation. Current Biology, 20, 964-968. eScholarID:85204 | DOI:DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.03.070

  • M. Visser, E. Jefferies, and M. A. Lambon Ralph. (2010).

    Semantic Processing in the Anterior Temporal Lobes:A Meta-analysis of the Functional. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22(6), 1083-1094. eScholarID:78021 | DOI:doi:10.1162/jocn.2009.21309

  • M.A. Lambon Ralph, C. Snell, J.K. Fillingham, P. Conroy, & K. Sage. (2010).

    Predicting the outcome of anomia therapy for people with aphasia post CVA: Both language and cognitive status are key predictors. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 20, 289-305. eScholarID:77421 | DOI:10.1080/09602010903237875

  • M.A. Lambon Ralph, L. Cipolotti, F. Manes, & K. Patterson. (2010).

    Taking both sides: Do unilateral, anterior temporal-lobe lesions disrupt semantic memory? Brain, 133, 3243-3255. eScholarID:93977 | DOI:10.1093/brain/awq264

  • Matthew A Lambon Ralph, Karen Sage, Roy W Jones, Emily J Mayberry. (2010).

    Coherent concepts are computed in the anterior temporal lobes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107(6), 2717-2722. eScholarID:79190 | DOI:10.1073/pnas.0907307107

  • R.J. Binney, K.V. Embleton, E. Jefferies, G.J.M. Parker, & M.A. Lambon Ralph. (2010).

    The Ventral and Inferolateral Aspects of the Anterior Temporal Lobe Are Crucial in Semantic Memory: Evidence from a Novel Direct Comparison of Distortion-Corrected fMRI, rTMS, and Semantic Dementia. Cerebral Cortex, 20(11), 2728-2738. eScholarID:92503 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhq019


  • Lambon Ralph MA, Pobric GG, Jefferies E. (2009).

    Conceptual knowledge is underpinned by temporal pole bilaterally: Convergent evidence from rTMS. Cerebral Cortex, 19, 832-838. eScholarID:1d18482 | DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhn131


  • Lambon Ralph MA, Patterson K (2008).

    Generalization and Differentiation in Semantic Memory: Insights from Semantic Dementia. Ann. N.Y. Acad. Sci, 1124, 61-76. eScholarID:1d17097 | DOI:10.1196/annals.1440.006


  • Lambon Ralph MA, Lowe C, Rogers T. (2007).

    Neural basis of category-specific semantic deficits for living things: evidence from semantic dementia, HSVE and a neural network model. Brain, 130( Pt 4), eScholarID:1d16008

  • Pobric GG, Jefferies E, Lambon Ralph MA. (2007).

    Anterior temporal lobes mediate semantic representation: Mimicking semantic dementia by using rTMS in normal participants. PNAS, 104, 20137-20141. eScholarID:1d16765 | DOI:10.1073pnas.0707383104

  • Welbourne SR, Lambon Ralph MA. (2007).

    Using PDP Models to Simulate Phonological Dyslexia: The Key Role of Plasticity-Related Recovery. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19 No 7, eScholarID:1d14146

  • Woollams AM, Lambon Ralph MA, D.C. Plaut, K. Patterson. (2007).

    SD-squared: on the association between semantic dementia and surface dyslexia. Psychological Review, 114 no2, eScholarID:1d14614 | DOI:10.1037/0033-295X.114.2.316


  • Crisp J, Lambon Ralph MA. (2006).

    Unlocking the nature of the phonological-deep dyslexial continuum: the keys to reading aloud are in phonology and semantics. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, eScholarID:1d26868 | DOI:10.1162/jocn.2006.18.3.348

  • Jefferies E, Lambon Ralph MA. (2006).

    Semantic impairment in stroke aphasia versus semantic dementia: a case-series comparison. Brain, 129( Pt 8), eScholarID:1d16007

  • Lambon Ralph MA, Ehsan S. (2006).

    Age of acquisition effects depend on the mapping between representations and the frequency of occurrence: Empirical and computational evidence. Visual Cognition, 13, eScholarID:1d8299

  • Patterson K, Lambon Ralph MA, Jefferies E, Woollams AM, Jones R, Hodges J. R, Rogers T. T. (2006).

    'Pre-semantic' cognition in semantic dementia: Six deficits in search of an explanation. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 18, eScholarID:1d9177


  • Lambon Ralph MA, Braber N, J.L. McClelland, K. Patterson. (2005).

    What underlies the neuropsychological pattern of irregular > regular past-tense verb production? Brain & Language, 93, eScholarID:1d10369

  • Parker GJM, S. Luzzi, D.C. Alexander, C.A.M. Wheeler-Kingshott, O. Ciccarelli, Lambon Ralph MA. (2005).

    Lateralization of ventral and dorsal auditory-language pathways in the human brain. Neuroimage, 24, eScholarID:1d26126 | DOI:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2004.08.047


  • Rogers T, Lambon Ralph MA, Garrard P, Bozeat S, McClelland J, Hodges J, Patterson K. (2004).

    Structure and deterioration of semantic memory: a neuropsychological and computational investigation. Psychol Rev, 111( 1), eScholarID:1d7841 | DOI:10.1037/0033-295X.111.1.205


  • Bird H, Seidenberg MS, Lambon Ralph MA, McClelland J.L, Patterson K. (2003).

    Deficits in phonology and past tense morphology. Journal of Memory and Language, 48, eScholarID:1d25768


  • Lambon Ralph MA, McClelland J, Patterson K, Galton C, Hodges J. (2001).

    No right to speak? The relationship between object naming and semantic impairment: neuropsychological evidence and a computational model. J Cogn Neurosci, 13( 3), eScholarID:1d7558 | DOI:10.1162/08989290151137395

  • Patterson K, Lambon Ralph MA, Hodges J, McClelland J. (2001).

    Deficits in irregular past-tense verb morphology associated with degraded semantic knowledge. Neuropsychologia, 39( 7), eScholarID:1d7559


  • Bozeat S, Lambon Ralph MA, Patterson K, Garrard P, Hodges J. (2000).

    Non-verbal semantic impairment in semantic dementia. Neuropsychologia, 38( 9), eScholarID:1d7564

  • Ellis A, Lambon Ralph MA. (2000).

    Age of acquisition effects in adult lexical processing reflect loss of plasticity in maturing systems: insights from connectionist networks. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn, 26( 5), eScholarID:1d7561


  • Patterson K, Lambon Ralph MA. (1999).

    Selective disorders of reading? Current Opinion in Neurobiology, 9, 2, eScholarID:1d8278


  • Lambon Ralph MA, Howard D, Nightingale G, Ellis A. W. (1998).

    Are living and non-living category-specific deficits casually linked to impaired perceptual or associative knowledge? Evidence from a category-specific double dissociation. Neurocase, 4, 4-5, eScholarID:1d8274

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