Edinburgh Research Explorer

Dr Paul Hoffman

Lecturer in Cognitive Psychology

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Willingness to take PhD students: Yes

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), University of Manchester
The impact of semantic impairments on verbal short-term memory
Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Leicester


I completed a PhD in Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Manchester in 2008 and subsequently worked as a research fellow in the University's Neuroscience and Aphasia Research Unit. In 2013, I took up a six-month Visiting Scholar position at Stanford University before returning briefly to Manchester. In this year, I was also awarded the BNS Elizabeth Warrington Prize for outstanding early-career research.

In 2014, I came to Edinburgh as a Research Fellow in the Centre for Cognitive Ageing and Cognitive Epidemiology and I am now a lecturer in Cognitive Psychology. I have recently served as Meetings Secretary of the British Neuropsychological Society and co-edited a special issue of the journal Neuropsychologia on the topic of semantic cognition.

Most of my papers can be accessed by clicking on the links on the right of this page. A full list of my publications is also available on my Google scholar page.

Research Interests

My research is concerned with the processes of semantic cognition – i.e., the ways in which we (a) maintain a store of conceptual knowledge about objects, words and people and (b) use executive control processes to access this information in a flexible, task-appropriate manner. I explore this using a variety of techniques, including:

  • Case-series neuropsychological investigations, primarily of patients with semantic dementia and semantic deficits following stroke
  • Computational linguistic analyses (e.g., latent semantic analysis)
  • Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation in healthy subjects
  • Functional neuroimaging studies
  • Connectionist computational models

I am also interested in the ways in which semantic knowledge interacts with other cognitive and linguistic processes.

Research students

Grace Rice - Using neuroimaging and transcranial magnetic stimulation to probe conceptual knowledge in the right and left anterior temporal lobes, University of Manchester, 2012-2016 (co-supervised with Prof. Matt Lambon Ralph)

Loris Naspi - Semantic influences on episodic memory. 2018-present (co-supervised with Dr. Alexa Morcom)

ID: 17766833