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Our research focuses on three main themes: memory and executive processes; emotion; and social function. This programme involves local, national, and international collaborations and is funded by grants from charities, research councils, and the department of health. Our research has received media coverage including the national press, Radio 4 programmes, and charity organisations.

Enhancing our understanding of brain-behaviour relationships, and how these relate to everyday function, helps to identify targets for clinical interventions.  Developing and evaluating treatments enable us to test their efficacy, and to identify mechanisms of change, before interventions are utilised in clinical healthcare settings.


To enhance the understanding of brain-behaviour relationships, we test neuropsychological and cognitive theories using experimental techniques, develop novel assessment tools, characterise neurocognitive profiles using standardised measures, and utilise neuroimaging techniques. Findings are then related to everyday function including education, vocational activity, and social participation.

Some examples of our work include: testing theories of memory and characterising dissociations in individuals with dementia, epilepsy, and focal injuries; investigating the relationship between cognition and emotion following traumatic brain injury and in individuals with dementia; characterising the socio-emotional consequences of acquired brain injury; and characterising the neurocognitive profiles associated with eating disorders in adolescents.


Our theory-driven research provides the foundation for our work focusing on developing and evaluating interventions. Approaches include single case designs, within-group studies, and randomised controlled trials.

Some examples of our work include: developing interventions for prospective memory impairments following acquired brain injury; evaluating computerised working memory training in children who have survived an acquired brain injury; evaluating cognitive remediation therapy for adolescents with an eating disorder; and developing and evaluating web-based family problem-solving interventions.

Our research aims to inform clinical and educational practice and public policy. We work closely with multiple stakeholders (e.g., the Department of Health, NHS commissioners, Parliamentary Groups, Ministry of Justice, Department of Education) to ensure that our research findings translate directly to social change, both nationally and internationally. Here you will find some examples of our work.

CCNR Research and Criminal Justice

Prof Williams has presented research findings to a range of organisations involved in the justice system, from All Party Parliamentary Groups, service providers (National Offender Management Service) and Regulators (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Prisons; Office of the Children’s; Commissioner) - resulting in  a range of activities that has helped shaped public policy and justice system practice. Critically, adoption of new measures for identifying of neuro-developmental problems in  young people in custody and new guidelines for commissioning services for these groups produced by the Royal College of Child Health and Paediatrics.

Currently he is working closely with the Criminal Justice and Acquired Brain Injury Group (Chaired by Lord Ramsbotham) and with the British Psychological Society (as Deputy Chair of the Division of neuropsychology, Policy Unit, an Chair of Brain Injury and Justice group) to help inform debate on legislation in the Houses of Parliament on neuro-developmental issues and justice (e.g. on the Child and Family Bill, Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Bill etc.).

Prof Williams, and colleagues in Paris, Docteur Mathilde Chevignardle Docteur Eric Durand, et le Professeur Pradat-Diehl, recently produced a revised version of the Repairing Shattered Lives report with a view to improve detection and management of brain injuries in France.

CCNR Research and Dementia

Dr Llewellyn's ongoing work on the natural history of neurocognitive dysfunction has led to a number of new insights that have attracted international media attention (e.g. New York Times, CNN, Time magazine, ITV, BBC). For example, his discoveries relating to the link between low serum vitamin D levels and dementia have contributed to guidelines for european policy makers. His work on the Mediterranean diet and dementia risk was used to emphasize the potential importance of diet in open letters from the scientific community to Prime Minister David Cameron and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt ahead of the G8 Dementia Summit.


Anna Adlam & Fraser Milton, University of Exeter
An  Economic and Social Research Council, Project Development Fund for Transformative Social Science grant (2014-2015) has been awarded to Professor Brahm Norwich and colleagues (University of Exeter, Graduate School of Education) in collaboration with Dr Anna Adlam (CCNR) and Dr Fraser Milton (CCNR) to investiate the use of Lesson Study in mathematics education. This innovative study aims to bridge neuropsychology theory and practice with mathematics education.

Adam Zeman, University of Exeter
AHRC £80,000 (2015-16) The Eye's Mind - a study of the neural basis of visual imagination and its role in culture (science in culture innovation award). Research grant.

Anna Adlam & Henrietta Roberts, University of Exeter,
An ISSF Wellcome Trust Seed Corn Fund has been awarded to Anna Adlam and Henrietta Roberts to investigate whether working memory training reduces repetitive negative thought in depression.

Anna Adlam & Fraser Milton, University of Exeter,
CLES Strategic Award A University of Exeter Strategic Award has been given to Anna Adlam and Fraser Milton to investigate the neural correlates of working memory training in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.


Adam Zeman, University of Exeter
Dunhill Medical Trust £179,343 (2014-2017) Transient Epileptic Amnesia: causation, prognosis and the benefits of treatment. Project grant.

Anna Adlam, Exeter University
A University of Exeter Link Fund has been awarded to support the costs of a research visit to meet with international collaborations, Professor Shari Wade (Cincinnati Children's Hospital,Ohio) and Professor Keith Yeates (Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, Ohio).

Anna Adlam, Exeter University
International Fellowship Award to support Professor McKay Sohlberg (University of Oregon) to visit the research group

David Llewellyn, Mary Kinross Charitable Trust
Vascular aspects of cognitive impairment and dementia (2013 – 2018)


David Llewellyn, NIHR Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care (PenCLAHRC) studentship
Metabolic dysfunction, lifestyle factors and dementia (2012 – 2015)

David Llewellyn, Lord Clinton’s Charitable Trust and Alice Ellen Cooper Dean Charitable Trust
Biomarkers for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (2012 – 2014)


Anna Adlam, Action Medical Research
A RCT investigating the efficacy of computerised working memory training in children (aged 8-16 years) who have survived a traumatic brain injury (2012-2015)

Anna Adlam, The British Academy
A study investigating the acceptability and feasibility of using computerised working memory training with children (aged 8-16 years) who have survived a brain injury (2011-2013)

Anna Adlam, British Psychological Society
An international seminar series will be hosted by the University of Exeter and the University of East Anglia to share research developments in paediatric neuropsychology theory and evidence-based interventions (2012-2014)

David Llewellyn, Alzheimer’s Association
Vitamin D and the risk of dementia in the Cardiovascular Health Study (2011 – 2013)

David Llewellyn, Norman Family Charitable Trust
Emerging risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease and dementia (2011 – 2014)

David Llewellyn, Age Related Diseases and Health Trust
Emerging biomarkers for Alzheimer's disease and dementia (2011 – 2013)

David Llewellyn, EPSRC Bridging the Gaps programme
Advanced imaging techniques for the ageing brain (2011 – 2013)

David Llewellyn, Sir Halley Stewart Trust
Fat-derived hormones and dementia (2011 – 2012)

David Llewellyn, James Tudor Foundation
Fat-derived hormones and dementia (2011 – 2012)

David Llewellyn, Peninsula Medical School Foundation
Vitamin D and the risk of dementia (2011 – 2012)


Adam Zeman, Epilepsy Research UK
Accelerated long-term forgetting in epilepsy: the role of interference. PhD studentship, University of Edinburgh. (2010-2013)


Huw Williams, Economic and Social Research Council
The individual in the group: Social identity and the dynamics of change (with T. Postmes, J. Jetten, C. Haslam, M. Ryan & H. Williams).

Huw Williams, Economic and Social Research Council
ESRC-Case funding, in collaboration with the Jockey Club UK, for research in concussion and memory in sports.

Huw Williams, DAART
Brain Activation in Pain


Huw Williams, DAART
Brain Activation in Chronic Pain