Dr Laura Hughes


My current research interests are on the role of the prefrontal cortex for voluntary and goal directed actions, and prefrontal interactions with other brain systems. I use both MEG and fMRI, along with behavioural and neuropsychological data, to investigate healthy adults and patients with neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson's disease and frontotemporal dementia) and patients with brain lesions (for example due to tumors or stroke). I collaborate with James Rowe and our aim is to understand the cortical networks of the intact brain and to assess changes related to disease.

Research Focus


frontotemporal dementia

Parkinson's disease




Clinical conditions


Parkinson's disease


Electroencephalography (EEG)

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)




Ellemarije Altena

Boyd Ghosh

Cristina Nombela-Otero

Adrian Owen

Charlotte Rae

Tim Rittman

James Rowe

Noham Wolpe

Associated News Items



Hughes LE, Rittman T, Regenthal R, Robbins TW, Rowe JB (2015), “Improving response inhibition systems in frontotemporal dementia with citalopram.” Brain Details

Rae CL, Hughes LE, Anderson MC, Rowe JB (2015), “The prefrontal cortex achieves inhibitory control by facilitating subcortical motor pathway connectivity.” J Neurosci 35(2):786-94 Details


Hughes LE, Rowe JB, Ghosh BC, Carlyon RP, Plack CJ, Gockel HE (2014), “The binaural masking level difference: cortical correlates persist despite severe brain stem atrophy in progressive supranuclear palsy.” J Neurophysiol 112(12):3086-94 Details

Rae CL, Hughes LE, Weaver C, Anderson MC, Rowe JB (2014), “Selection and stopping in voluntary action: a meta-analysis and combined fMRI study.” Neuroimage 86:381-91 Details


Hughes LE, Altena E, Barker RA, Rowe JB (2013), “Perseveration and choice in Parkinson's disease: the impact of progressive frontostriatal dysfunction on action decisions.” Cereb Cortex 23(7):1572-81 Details

Hughes LE, Ghosh BC, Rowe JB (2013), “Reorganisation of brain networks in frontotemporal dementia and progressive supranuclear palsy.” Neuroimage (Amst) 2:459-468 Details

Hughes LE, Rowe JB (2013), “The impact of neurodegeneration on network connectivity: a study of change detection in frontotemporal dementia.” J Cogn Neurosci 25(5):802-13 Details

Nombela C, Hughes LE, Owen AM, Grahn JA (2013), “Into the groove: can rhythm influence Parkinson's disease?” Neurosci Biobehav Rev 37(10 Pt 2):2564-70 Details


Rae CL, Correia MM, Altena E, Hughes LE, Barker RA, Rowe JB (2012), “White matter pathology in Parkinson's disease: the effect of imaging protocol differences and relevance to executive function.” Neuroimage 62(3):1675-84 Details

Zhang J, Hughes LE, Rowe JB (2012), “Selection and inhibition mechanisms for human voluntary action decisions.” Neuroimage 63(1):392-402 Details


Hughes LE, Nestor PJ, Hodges JR, Rowe JB (2011), “Magnetoencephalography of frontotemporal dementia: spatiotemporally localized changes during semantic decisions.” Brain 134(Pt 9):2513-22 Details

Perneczky R, Ghosh BC, Hughes L, Carpenter RH, Barker RA, Rowe JB (2011), “Saccadic latency in Parkinson's disease correlates with executive function and brain atrophy, but not motor severity.” Neurobiol Dis 43(1):79-85 Details


Hughes LE, Barker RA, Owen AM, Rowe JB (2010), “Parkinson's disease and healthy aging: Independent and interacting effects on action selection.” Hum Brain Mapp Details

Rossell SL, Batty RA, Hughes L (2010), “Impaired semantic memory in the formation and maintenance of delusions post-traumatic brain injury: a new cognitive model of delusions.” Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci Details

Rowe JB, Hughes L, Nimmo-Smith I (2010), “Action selection: a race model for selected and non-selected actions distinguishes the contribution of premotor and prefrontal areas.” Neuroimage 51(2):888-96 Details

Rowe JB, Hughes LE, Barker RA, Owen AM (2010), “Dynamic causal modelling of effective connectivity from fMRI: are results reproducible and sensitive to Parkinson's disease and its treatment?” Neuroimage 52(3):1015-26 Details


Hughes LE, Bates TC, Aimola Davies AM (2008), “Dissociations in rod bisection: the effect of viewing conditions on perception and action.” Cortex 44(9):1279-87 Details

Rowe J, Hughes L, Eckstein D, Owen AM (2008), “Rule-selection and action-selection have a shared neuroanatomical basis in the human prefrontal and parietal cortex.” Cereb Cortex 18(10):2275-85 Details

Rowe JB, Hughes L, Ghosh BC, Eckstein D, Williams-Gray CH, Fallon S, Barker RA, Owen AM (2008), “Parkinson's disease and dopaminergic therapy--differential effects on movement, reward and cognition.” Brain 131(Pt 8):2094-105 Details

Rowe JB, Hughes L, Williams-Gray CH, Bishop S, Fallon S, Barker RA, Owen AM (2008), “The val(158)met COMT polymorphism's effect on atrophy in healthy aging and Parkinson's disease.” Neurobiol Aging Details


Hughes LE, Bates TC, Aimola Davies AM (2005), “The effects of local and global processing demands on perception and action.” Brain Cogn 59(1):71-81 Details


Hughes LE, Bates TC, Aimola Davies A (2004), “Grasping at sticks: pseudoneglect for perception but not action.” Exp Brain Res 157(3):397-402 Details


Hughes LE, Wilkins AJ (2002), “Reading at a distance: implications for the design of text in children's big books.” Br J Educ Psychol 72(Pt 2):213-26 Details


Hughes L and Wilkins A (2000), “Typography in children’s reading schemes may be suboptimal: evidence from measures of reading rate” Journal of Research in Reading 23, 3, 314-324