Research and publications

The Neuropsychology department at Great Ormond Street Hopsital is involved in a broad range of research. We are particularly interested in looking at cognitive and behavioural problems associated with various disorders and diseases of the brain.

In addition to conducting detailed neuropsychological evaluations, we use state-of-the-art tests and brain imaging techniques to understand the relationship between our brain and our behaviour. 

We are currently engaged in a major research programme investigating the effects of low levels of oxygen in the blood on memory and cognitive development of infants, children and adolescents.

Why are we so interested in memory?

Memory enables children to learn and build-up knowledge about the world around them. It also helps them to recall the every day events of their life and forms the basis of learning routines and skills. It is an essential part of schooling, and later on in life, learning a trade or a profession and living independently as an adult.

Understanding memory problems

While we understand how important memory is to our day-to-day lives, we still need to learn more about how best to care for those children who have developed memory problems. We are particularly interested in diagnosing and helping those who have developed memory problems as a result of experiencing a serious drop in the oxygen levels reaching the brain. This condition is called hypoxia.

With funding granted by the Medical Research Council (MRC), we are conducting two studies looking at the consequences of hypoxia on memory, cognition and educational outcome, assessing ways in which we can minimise and manage its adverse effects in children:


Anderson, F., Richards, S., Jones, M-C., Lillywhite, L., Chapman, C., Curran, D., Gibson, B., Leiper, A. & Vargha-Khadem, F. A Prospective, Longitudinal Examination of Psychosocial Functioning after Treatment for Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia (ALL) Using UKALL XI Protocols. 


This study investigated the psychosocial development of survivors of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) over time. The MRC UKALLXI trial tested the efficacy of different central nervous system (CNS) directed therapies between 1990 and 2000. The patients involved in UKALLXI, along with a group of healthy age, gender and socioeconomically matched controls, completed psychosocial assessments using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Teacher Report Form (TRF) around the time of diagnosis and three and five years later. It was hypothesised that ALL survivors would demonstrate mild disruption in psychosocial development over time relative to healthy controls, and that their scores on the CBCL and TRF would also be associated with treatment type, age at treatment, and gender. Results indicated that while age at treatment and gender seemed to have little or no effect on psychosocial development, and ALL survivors continued to function within the average range, ALL survivors did demonstrate more symptoms of internalizing and externalizing behavior problems as well as specific symptoms of anxiety/depression, and attention problems than healthy controls. Parent and teacher ratings of these symptoms were related to treatment group.


For a complete list of our published work visit UCL's Developmental Cognitive Neurosciences page.

Adlam, A.L., de Haan, M., Hodges, J.R. and Patterson, K. Memory for action sequences in semantic dementia. Neuropsychologia 51 (8):1481-1487, 2013.

Bathelt, J., O'Reilly, H., Clayden, J.D., Cross, J.H., and de Haan, M. Functional brain network organisation of children between 2 and 5years derived from reconstructed activity of cortical sources of high-density EEG recordings. Neuroimage. 82:595-604, 2013.

Cross, J.H., Arora, R., Heckemann, R.A., Gunny, R., Chong, K., Carr, L., Baldeweg, T., Differ, A.M., Lench, N., Varadkar, S., Sirimanna, T., Wassmer, E., Hulton, S.A., Ognjanovic, M., Ramesh, V., Feather, S., Kleta, R., Hammers, A. and Bockenhauer, D. Neurological features of epilepsy, ataxia, sensorineural deafness, tubulopathy syndrome. Dev.Med.Child Neurol. 55 (9):846-856, 2013.

A. M. Hogan, A. Shipolini, M. M. Brown, R. Hurley, and F. Cormack. Fixing hearts and protecting minds: a review of the multiple, interacting factors influencing cognitive function after coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Circulation 128 (2):162-171, 2013.

F. J. Liegeois, K. Mahony, A. Connelly, L. Pigdon, J. D. Tournier, and A. T. Morgan. Pediatric traumatic brain injury: Language outcomes and their relationship to the arcuate fasciculus. Brain Lang, 2013.

M. M. Martinos, M. Yoong, S. Patil, W. K. Chong, R. Mardari, R. F. Chin, B. G. Neville, Haan M. de, and R. C. Scott. Early developmental outcomes in children following convulsive status epilepticus: a longitudinal study. Epilepsia 54 (6):1012-1019, 2013.

C. Nussey, N. Pistrang, and T. Murphy. How does psychoeducation help? A review of the effects of providing information about Tourette syndrome and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Child Care Health Dev., 2013.

F. O'Keeffe, F. Liegeois, M. Eve, V. Ganesan, J. King, and T. Murphy. Neuropsychological and neurobehavioral outcome following childhood arterial ischemic stroke: Attention deficits, emotional dysregulation, and executive dysfunction. Child Neuropsychol., 2013.

G. Pahs, P. Rankin, Cross J. Helen, L. Croft, G. B. Northam, F. Liegeois, S. Greenway, S. Harrison, F. Vargha-Khadem, and T. Baldeweg. Asymmetry of planum temporale constrains interhemispheric language plasticity in children with focal epilepsy. Brain, 2013.

S. West, C. Dunford, M. J. Mayston, and R. Forsyth. The School Function Assessment: identifying levels of participation and demonstrating progress for pupils with acquired brain injuries in a residential rehabilitation setting. Child Care Health Dev., 2013.

Liegeois, F., Tournier, J. D., Pigdon, L., Connelly, A., & Morgan, A. T. (2013). Corticobulbar tract changes as predictors of dysarthria in childhood brain injury. Neurology, 80, 926-932.

Morgan, A. T., Masterton, R., Pigdon, L., Connelly, A., & Liegeois, F. J. (2013). Functional magnetic resonance imaging of chronic dysarthric speech after childhood brain injury: reliance on a left-hemisphere compensatory network. Brain, 136, 646-657.

Cormack, F., Vargha-Khadem, F., Wood, S. J., Cross, J. H., & Baldeweg, T. (2012). Memory in paediatric temporal lobe epilepsy: effects of lesion type and side. Epilepsy Res., 98, 255-259.

D'Argenzio, L., Colonnelli, M. C., Harrison, S., Jacques, T. S., Harkness, W., Scott, R. C. et al. (2012). Seizure outcome after extratemporal epilepsy surgery in childhood. Dev.Med.Child Neurol., 54, 995-1000.

Hogan, A. M., Telfer, P. T., Kirkham, F. J., & de, H. M. (2012). Precursors of Executive Function in Infants With Sickle Cell Anemia. J.Child Neurol..

Hollocks, M. J., Kok, T. B., Kirkham, F. J., Gavlak, J., Inusa, B. P., Debaun, M. R. et al. (2012). Nocturnal oxygen desaturation and disordered sleep as a potential factor in executive dysfunction in sickle cell anemia. J.Int.Neuropsychol.Soc., 18, 168-173.

Horner, A. J., Gadian, D. G., Fuentemilla, L., Jentschke, S., Vargha-Khadem, F., & Duzel, E. (2012). A Rapid, Hippocampus-Dependent, Item-Memory Signal that Initiates Context Memory in Humans. Curr.Biol., 22, 2369-2374.

Kihara, M., de, H. M., Were, E. O., Garrashi, H. H., Neville, B. G., & Newton, C. R. (2012). Cognitive deficits following exposure to pneumococcal meningitis: an event-related potential study. BMC.Infect.Dis., 12, 79.

Longaretti, F., Dunkley, C., Varadkar, S., Vargha-Khadem, F., Boyd, S. G., & Cross, J. H. (2012). Evolution of the EEG in children with Rasmussen's syndrome. Epilepsia.

Martinos, M. M., Yoong, M., Patil, S., Chin, R. F. M., Neville, B. G., Scott, R. C. et al. (2012). Recognition memory is impaired in children after prolonged febrile seizures. Brain.

Northam, G. B., Liegeois, F., Tournier, J. D., Croft, L. J., Johns, P. N., Chong, W. K. et al. (2012). Interhemispheric temporal lobe connectivity predicts language impairment in adolescents born preterm. Brain.

Northam, G. B., Liegeois, F., Chong, W. K., Baker, K., Tournier, J. D., Wyatt, J. S. et al. (2012). Speech and oromotor outcome in adolescents born preterm: relationship to motor tract integrity. J.Pediatr., 160, 402-408.

O'Keeffe, F., Ganesan, V., King, J., & Murphy, T. (2012). Quality-of-life and psychosocial outcome following childhood arterial ischaemic stroke. Brain Inj., 26, 1072-1083.

Baddeley, A., Jarrold, C., & Vargha-Khadem, F. (2011). Working memory and the hippocampus. J.Cogn Neurosci., 23, 3855-3861.

Chan, S., Baldeweg, T., & Cross, J. H. (2011). A role for sleep disruption in cognitive impairment in children with epilepsy. Epilepsy Behav., 20, 435-440.

Cooper, J. M., Vargha-Khadem, F., Gadian, D. G., & Maguire, E. A. (2011). The effect of hippocampal damage in children on recalling the past and imagining new experiences. Neuropsychologia, 49, 1843-1850.

D'Argenzio, L., Colonnelli, M. C., Harrison, S., Jacques, T. S., Harkness, W., Vargha-Khadem, F. et al. (2011). Cognitive outcome after extratemporal epilepsy surgery in childhood. Epilepsia, 52, 1966-1972.

Halsey, C., Buck, G., Richards, S., Vargha-Khadem, F., Hill, F., & Gibson, B. (2011). The impact of therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia on intelligence quotients; results of the risk-stratified randomized central nervous system treatment trial MRC UKALL XI. J.Hematol.Oncol., 4, 42.

Hurley, N. C., Maguire, E. A., & Vargha-Khadem, F. (2011). Patient HC with developmental amnesia can construct future scenarios. Neuropsychologia, 49, 3620-3628.

Liegeois, F. J. & Morgan, A. T. (2011). Neural bases of childhood speech disorders: Lateralization and plasticity for speech functions during development. Neurosci.Biobehav.Rev..

Munoz, M., Chadwick, M., Perez-Hernandez, E., Vargha-Khadem, F., & Mishkin, M. (2011). Novelty preference in patients with developmental amnesia. Hippocampus, 21, 1268-1276.

Northam, G. B., Liegeois, F., Chong, W. K., Wyatt, S., & Baldeweg, T. (2011). Total brain white matter is a major determinant of IQ in adolescents born preterm. Ann.Neurol., 69, 702-711.

Skirrow, C., Cross, J. H., Cormack, F., Harkness, W., Vargha-Khadem, F., & Baldeweg, T. (2011). Long-term intellectual outcome after temporal lobe surgery in childhood. Neurology, 76, 1330-1337.

Baldeweg, T. & Liegeois, F. (2010). Functional MRI in Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery. In O.Cataltepe & G. Jallo (Eds.), Pediatric Epilepsy Surgery: Preoperative Assessment and Surgical Treatment (New York: Thieme Medical Publishers Inc.

Kihara, M., de, H. M., Garrashi, H. H., Neville, B. G., & Newton, C. R. (2010). Atypical brain response to novelty in rural African children with a history of severe falciparum malaria. J.Neurol.Sci., 296, 88-95.

Kihara, M., Hogan, A. M., Newton, C. R., Garrashi, H. H., Neville, B. R., & de, H. M. (2010). Auditory and visual novelty processing in normally-developing Kenyan children. Clin.Neurophysiol., 121, 564-576.

Liegeois, F., Morgan, A. T., Stewart, L. H., Helen, C. J., Vogel, A. P., & Vargha-Khadem, F. (2010). Speech and oral motor profile after childhood hemispherectomy. Brain Lang, 114, 126-134.

Maguire, E. A., Vargha-Khadem, F., & Hassabis, D. (2010). Imagining fictitious and future experiences: evidence from developmental amnesia. Neuropsychologia, 48, 3187-3192.

Adlam, A. L., Malloy, M., Mishkin, M., & Vargha-Khadem, F. (2009). Dissociation between recognition and recall in developmental amnesia. Neuropsychologia, 47, 2207-2210.

Anderson, F. S. & Kunin-Batson, A. S. (2009). Neurocognitive late effects of chemotherapy in children: the past 10 years of research on brain structure and function. Pediatr.Blood Cancer, 52, 159-164.

Briscoe, J. & Rankin, P. M. (2009). Exploration of a 'double-jeopardy' hypothesis within working memory profiles for children with specific language impairment. Int.J.Lang Commun.Disord., 44, 236-250.

De Tiege, X., Connelly, A., Liegeois, F., Harkness, W., Clark, C. A., Chong, W. K. et al. (2009). Influence of motor functional magnetic resonance imaging on the surgical management of children and adolescents with symptomatic focal epilepsy. Neurosurgery, 64, 856-864.

Kihara, M., Carter, J. A., Holding, P. A., Vargha-Khadem, F., Scott, R. C., Idro, R. et al. (2009). Impaired everyday memory associated with encephalopathy of severe malaria: the role of seizures and hippocampal damage. Malar.J., 8, 273.

Muter, V. & Snowling, M. (2009). Children at familial risk of dyslexia: Practical implications from an at-risk study. ACAMH, 14, 37-41.

Muter, V. (2009). The Rose Report on dyslexia: Key findings and recommendations. Dyslexia Review, 20, 4-6.

Muter, V. & Likierman, H. (2009). Empowering parents to support their child with dyslexia: Linking theory and practice. Dyslexia Review, 20, 7-11.

Dijkerman, H. C., Vargha-Khadem, F., Polkey, C. E., & Weiskrantz, L. (2008). Ipsilesional and contralesional sensorimotor function after hemispherectomy: differences between distal and proximal function. Neuropsychologia, 46, 886-901.

Harrison, S. & Hood, J. (2008). Applications of neuropsychology in schools. In J Reed (Revised J.Warner-Rogers) (Ed.), Child Neuropsychology: Concepts, Theory and Practice  (pp. 421-431). Malden, MA: Blackwell.

Liegeois, F., Connelly, A., Baldeweg, T., & Vargha-Khadem, F. (2008). Speaking with a single cerebral hemisphere: fMRI language organization after hemispherectomy in childhood. Brain Lang, 106, 195-203.

Liegeois, F., Cross, J. H., Polkey, C., Harkness, W., & Vargha-Khadem, F. (2008). Language after hemispherectomy in childhood: contributions from memory and intelligence. Neuropsychologia, 46, 3101-3107.