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Prof Lisa Cipolotti
National Hospital for Neurology & Neurosurgery, UCL
Queen Square
Prof Lisa Cipolotti profile picture
  • Professor of Neuropsychology
  • UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
  • Faculty of Brain Sciences
Research Themes
Research Summary
I have been particularly interested in the psychological and neuronal basis of calculation, memory (episodic and semantic) and frontal executive problems of neurological patients. My general approach has been to develop an understanding of these from a perspective of normative processing models which in turn inform an articulation of their neurological basis. My aim is to capitalize on progress with this approach to develop instruments for evaluating cognitive impairments in neurological patients. This approach allows the identification and refinement of new neuropsychological syndromes and more accurate diagnosis of the cortical impairments which ensue following brain lesions. One of my earliest lines of research focused on the syndrome of dyscalculia (acquired impairment of numeracy skills). Using a single case methodology, I demonstrated for the first time that numeracy is independent of general reasoning, language, semantic and short-term memory, word reading and writing abilities. Moreover, I reported that number processing and calculation systems are functionally independent and, within the calculation system, arithmetical facts are stored independently by operation type. These empirical findings have allowed me to develop a theoretical model. This line of work exemplifies my research ethos of using empirical findings to motivate well grounded theoretical models. I have investigated: the brain basis of remote episodic memory; whether anterograde memories are retrieved through two separate processes (recollection and/or familiarity); whether non-verbal memories comprise a set of functionally and anatomically independent subsystem. These studies have used patients with acquired and developmental neurological disorders using a variety of cognitive and neuroradiological techniques...
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