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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. A., & Woollams, A. M. (2014).

    Capturing multidimensionality in stroke aphasia: mapping principal behavioural components to neural structures.Brain : a journal of neurology, 137(Pt 12), 3248-3266. DOI:10.1093/brain/awu286

. Publication link: 58251b1f-2b33-4526-80a3-44160bb05ab5 | PubMed:25348632

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

    Fusion and Fission of Cognitive Functions in the Human Parietal Cortex.Cerebral Cortex. DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhu198

  • . Publication link: 3d920193-a37d-4501-95cf-07716ae9ef50 | PubMed:25205661

  • Lambon Ralph, M. A. (2014).

    Neurocognitive insights on conceptual knowledge and its breakdown. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 369(1634), [20120392]. DOI:10.1098/rstb.2012.0392. Publication link: bd86c050-94e9-461f-85f6-9e382dfeef9b | PubMed:24324236

  • Shimotake, A., Matsumoto, R., Ueno, T., Kunieda, T., Saito, S., Hoffman, P., ... Lambon Ralph, M. A. (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.Cerebral cortex (New York, N.Y. : 1991), 25(10). DOI:10.1093/cercor/bhu262. Publication link: 9bf23536-3514-4015-a9af-b4de78c07eef | PubMed:25491206

  • 2013















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