DR THOMAS HIERONYMUS BAK
Lecturer in Human Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh
Research Associate of Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge
Vice-President of the World Federation of Neurology, Research Group on Aphasia & Cognitive Disorders
School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
University of Edinburgh
7 George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9JZ
Tel. 0131 650 3441
Fax. 0131 650 3440
MAIN RESEARCH INTERESTS
• The relationship between language, cognition and movement in neurodegenerative brain diseases
• Dissociation between the processing of verbs/actions and nouns/objects and its neural correlates
• Cognitive assessment of dementias in different cultural and linguistic environments
• The impact of bilingualism on cognitive functions
• Cross-linguistic studies of aphasia
MAIN CLINICAL INTERESTS
• Disorders affecting movement and cognition: Motor Neuron Disease (MND)/ Dementia, Progressive Supranuclear
Palsy (PSP), Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD), ALS/Parkinson/Dementia Complex of Guam
• Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) and its overlap syndromes
Bak TH, O'Donovan DG, Xuereb JH, Boniface S, Hodges JR (2001) Selective impairment of verb processing
associated with pathological changes in the Brodmann areas 44 and 45 in the motor neurone disease / dementia /
aphasia syndrome. Brain, 124, 103-120. (Cited 127 times)
Hodges JR, Davies R, Xuereb J, Casey B, Broe M, Bak T, Kril J, Halliday G. (2004) Clinicopathological correlates
in frontotemporal dementia. Annals of Neurology 56(3), 399-406 (Cited 207 times)
1996-2006 Research associate at the MRC-CBU and the Neurology Unit, Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge
Establishing and running of the Clinic for Disorders of Movement and Cognition (DMC) 1996-2006;
1995-1996 Senior House Officer (SHO) in Clinical Neurosciences, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge
1991-1994 Medical resident, Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology, Free University Berlin
1990-1991 Medical resident, Psychiatric Hospital Muensingen, Switzerland
1988-1990 Doctoral Thesis "Acute Aphasias", Neurological Department, University of Freiburg im Breisgau,
Supervisor: Prof. Claus W. Wallesch, completed with “Magna cum laude”
1980-1988 Study of medicine in Homburg/Saar and Hamburg, Completed with “Approbation” (medical licence)
1979-1980 Zeppelin-Gymnasium, Stuttgart, completed with "Abitur" (university qualifying exam)
1975-1978 Nowodworski Liceum (High School), Cracow, Poland
RESEARCH COLLABORATIONS (SELECTION)
Since 2008 Heterogeneity of cognitive impairment in MND (with Dr. S. Abrahams, Edinburgh)
Since 2007 Can bilingualism prevent from dementia? (with Prof. S della Sala and Prof. A Sorace, Edinburgh)
Since 2006 The cognitive characterisation of ALS/Parkinsinism/Dementia of Guam (with Prof. J.Steele, Guam)
Since 2005 Clinico-pathological study of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (with Prof. G. Halliday, Sydney)
Since 2004 Crosslinguistic study of aphasia in Polish speakers (with Prof. W. Marslen-Wilson, Cambridge)
Since 2003 Noun and verb dissociations in neurodegenerative diseases (with Prof. F. Pulvermüller, Cambridge)
Since 1996 Cognition & motor function in neurodegenerative diseases (with Prof. J. Hodges, Sydney)
CLINICAL EXPERIENCE (SELECTION)
1996 – 2006 Establishing and running the Clinic for Disorders of Movement and Cognition (DMC), participation in
other specialist clinics including Huntington’s Disease Clinic, Early Dementia Clinic & Memory Clinic
1995 – 1996 Medical resident in neurology, neurosurgery and neuro-intensive care
1991 – 1995 Medical resident in psychiatry, psychotherapy and neurology
TEACHING EXPERIENCE (SELECTION)
Since 2007 Clinical cognitive neuroscience for MSc in Neuroscience and Neuroinformatics
Since 2007 Disorders of Language for MSc in Neuropsychology, Psycholinguistics and Developmental Linguistics
Since 2006 Biological Psychology (3rd
year) and Neuropsychology (2nd
Since 2005 Cognitive Psychology, Open University Residential School, Universities of Sussex, Nottingham & Bath
1997 - 2006 Fundamentals of Neuroscience for MSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology at the University of Essex
2005 - 2006 Weekend courses “How the Brain Works”, Board of Continuing Education, Cambridge University
2005 Cognitive Neuropsychology at Cambridge University (lectures & student supervision)
Since 2009 Phillipa Rewaj, Edinburgh University: The nature of speech impairment in MND
Since 2008 Dina van der Hulst, Edinburgh University: The Heterogeneity of cognitive impairment in MND
Since 2007 Chryssa Retsa, Edinburgh University: Processing of Magnitude and Multitude in Parietal Lobes
Since 2007 Georgios Argyropoulos, Edinburgh University: Neural correlates of grammaticalisation
Since 2005 Ola Jelowicka, MRC CBU Cambridge: Aphasia in a morphologically complex language (Polish)
2001-2004 Linda Crawford – Clinical Doctorate in Psychology: Behavioural symptoms of PSP and MSA
2008/9 Cagla Defterali: Can language identify people at risk for schizophrenia?
2008/9 Jennifer Megson, Justin Grace: Time perception and word processing in PSP
2007/8 Blanca Poveda & Jo Philipps, Edinburgh University: Insight and anosognosia in PSP and CBD patients
2007/8 Poornima Raju, Edinburgh University: Verbal fluency in Indian bilinguals living in the UK
2006/7 Ning Zhang, Edinburgh University: Chinese Adaptation of Addenbrooke's Cognitive Examination
2005 Lina Hatziantoniou, University of Essex: Number processing in CBD
2004 Georgia Ktistaki, University of Essex: Social cognition in PSP and MSA
PhD/MD EXTERNAL EXAMINATION
Sep 2009 Jonathan Knibb (Oxford University, MD)
Feb 2009 Max Garagnani (MRC CBU Cambridge, PhD)
Nov 2006 Cindy Kersaitis (University of Sydney, PhD)
July 2004 Alexandro Garcia Caballero (University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain, PhD)
HONOURS & INVITATIONS
Oct 2008 Elected Member of the Academy of Aphasia
Aug 2008 Elected Vice-president of the World Federation of Neurology - Research Group on Aphasia and
Cognitive Disorders (WFN RGACD), to follow as president at the next meeting in 2010
Sept 2005 Visiting Scholar at Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany
2004 - 2005 Guest editor of the special issue of “Neurocase” devoted to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)
Since 2001 Invited reviewer for “Brain”, “Annals of Neurology”, “Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry”,
“Language and Cognitive Processes”, “Cognitive Neurology”, “Neuropsychologia”, “Cortex”,
"Neurocase", "Journal of Neurolinguistics", "Journal of Neuropsychology", “Brain and Language”,
“Journal of Neurology”, “Aphasiology”, “Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis”, “Bilingualism: Language and
Invited and Keynote Speaker – see separate page
Starting 2009 “The nature of speech deficits in MND”, PhD studentship, Scottish MND Association, £ 63 014 (PI)
Starting 2009 “Cognitive and Behaviour Change: Understanding Brain Mechanisms”, Silvia Aitken Charitable Trust
(Co-applicant, PI S. Abrahams) £ 100 000
2008 “Language Comprehension in Frontotemporal Dementias” Postdoctoral internship for Teresa Carthery
from "Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior (CAPES)", Brasil, £16 776
2008 “Bilingualism and Cognition in the Western Isles” University of Edinburgh Research Trust, £ 2970 (PI)
2007 - 2010 “The heterogeneity of cognitive impairment in Motor Neuron Disease”; PhD studentship – MND
Association, £ 69 220 (Joint PI with S. Abrahams)
2004.2005 “Aphasia in a morphologically complex language” – Leverhulme, £ 12 655 (with W. Marslen-Wislon)
2000.2004“Clinical and neuropsychological studies of PSP” – PSP Association Europe, £ 42 000 (with J. Hodges)
CONFERENCE & SEMINAR ORGANISATION (SELECTION)
Sept 2008 Establishing Interdisciplinary Seminar Series of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language
Sciences (PPLS), First Speaker: Giacomo Rizzolatti
Aug 2008 Organiser of the Biennial Meeting of the World Federation of Neurology - Research Group on Aphasia
and Cognitive Disorders (WFN RGACD) in Edinburgh
Aug 2007 Co-organiser of the First Meeting of Edinburgh Motor Neuron Disease Research Group (EdMoND)
Since 2007 Organiser of the Departmental Seminar Series in Psychology
2002-2006 Organiser of Interdisciplinary Crosstalk Series at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Teaching/lecturing experience in English, German, Polish, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian
Intermediate knowledge of Russian and French
Basic knowledge of Dutch, Turkish and Japanese
Currently learning: Gaelic and Norwegian
Bak TH, Crawford LM, Berrios G, Hodges JR (in press) Behavioural symptoms in progressive supranuclear palsy and
frontotemporal dementia. Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.
Zarei M, Pouretemad H, Bak TH, Hodges JR (in press) Autobiographical Memory in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
European Journal of Neurology.
Ghosh B, Rowe J, Calder A, Bak TH (2009) Emotion Recognition in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Journal of
Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry; 80: 1143-1145.
Shelley BP, Hodges JR, Kipps C, Xuereb J, Bak TH (2009) Is the pathology of corticobasal syndrome predictable in
life? Movement Disorders; 24:1593-9.
Lesniak M, Bak T, Czepiel W, Seniow J, Czlonkowska (2008) The frequency and prognostic value of cognitive
disorders in stroke. Dementia.and geriatric cognitive disorders; 26, 356-63.
Antoniades C, Bak T, Carpenter R, Hodges JH, Barker R (2007) The diagnostic potential of saccadometry in
Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Biomarkers in Medicine, 1, 487-490.
Alladi S, Xuereb J, Bak T, Nestor P, Knibb J, Patterson K, Hodges J (2007) Focal cortical presentations of Alzheimer's
disease. Brain, 130, 2636-2645.
Hillis AE, Heidler-Gary J, Newhart M, Chang S, Ken L, Bak TH (2006) Naming and Comprehension in Primary
Progressive Aphasia: The Influence of Grammatical Word Class. Aphasiology, 20, 246-256.
Bak TH, Caine D, Hearn VC, Hodges JR (2006) Visuospatial functions in atypical parkinsonian syndromes. Journal of
Neurology, Neurosurgery and Pyschiatry. 77, 454-456.
Bak, TH, Yancopoulou D, Nestor PJ, Xuereb JH, Spillantini MG, Pulvermüller F, Hodges JR (2006) Clinical, imaging
and pathological correlates of a hereditary deficit in verb and action processing. Brain, 129, 321-332.
Kersaitis C, Halliday GM, Xuereb JH, Pamphlett RS, Bak TH, Hodges JR, Kril JJ (2006) Ubiquitin-positive inclusions
and progression of pathology in frontotemporal dementia and motor neuron disease identifies a group with mainly early
pathology. Neuropathology and Applied Neurobiology, 32, 83-91.
Bak, TH, Crawford LM, Hearn VC, Mathuranath PS, Hodges JH (2005) Subcortical dementia revisited: similarities and
differences in cognitive function between Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), Corticobasal Degeneration (CBD)
and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA). Neurocase; 11: 268-273.
Bak TH, Rogers TT, Crawford LM, Hearn VC, Mathuranath PS, Hodges JR (2005) Cognitive bedside assessment
in atypical parkinsonian syndromes, Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry. 76, 420-422.
Bak TH, Hodges JR (2004) The effects of Motor Neurone Disease on Language: Further evidence. Brain and
Mathuranath PS, Hodges JR, Mathew R, Cherian PJ, George A, Bak TH (2004) Adaptation of the ACE for a
speaking population in southern India. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, 19, 1188-1194.
Hodges JR, Davies R, Xuereb J, Casey B, Broe M, Bak T, Kril J, Halliday G. (2004) Clinicopathological correlates in
frontotemporal dementia. Annals of Neurology 56(3), 399-406
Graham N, Bak TH., Patterson K, Hodges JR. (2003) Language function and dysfunction in corticobasal degeneration.
Neurology, 63, 493-499.
Ho AK, Manly T, Nestor P, Sahakian B, Bak TH, Robbins TW, Rosser AE, Barker RA (2003) A case of Unilateral
Neglect in Huntington’s Disease. Neurocase, 9, 261-273.
Bak TH, Hodges JR (2003) “Kissing and Dancing” - a test to distinguish the lexical and conceptual contributions to
noun/verb and action/object dissociation. Preliminary results in patients with frontotemporal dementia. Journal of
Neurolinguistics, 16, 169-181.
Bak T, Donald LM, Hearn VC, Hodges JR. (2003) Cognitive and behavioural profile of atypical parkinsonian
syndromes. Journal of Neurology,Neurosurgery and Pyschiatry, 74: 397-410.
Graham N., Bak TH, Hodges JR (2003) Corticobasal degeneration as a cognitive disorder: A critical review. Movement
Spatt J, Bak T, Bozeat S, Patterson K, Hodges JR (2002) Apraxia, mechanical problem solving and semantic
knowledge: contributions to object usage in corticobasal degeneration. Journal of Neurology, 249, 601-608.
Seniow J, Bak T, Gajda J, Poniatowska R, Czlonkowska A (2002) Cognitive functioning in neurologically symptomatic
and asymptomatic forms of Wilson’s disease. Movement Disorders, 17, 1077-1083.
Bak TH, O'Donovan DG, Xuereb JH, Boniface S, Hodges JR (2001) Selective impairment of verb processing
associated with pathological changes in the Brodman areas 44 and 45 in the motor neurone disease / dementia /
aphasia syndrome. Brain, 124, 103-120.
Bak TH, Antoun N, Balan KK, Hodges JR. (2001) Memory Lost, Memory Regained: Neuropsycholoogical
findings and neuroimaging in two cases of paraneoplastic limbic encephalitis with radically different outcomes.
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Pyschiatry 71, 40-47.
Bak T. & Hodges JR. (2001) Motor Neuron Disease, Dementia and Aphasia Coincidence, co-occurrence or continuum?
Journal of Neurology, 248, (4) 260-270.
Berrios GE, Wagle AC, Markova IS, Wagle SA, Ho LW, Rubinsztein DC, Whittaker J, ffrench-Constant C, Kershaw A,
Rosser A, Bak T, Hodges JR (2001) Psychiatric symptoms and CAG repeats in neurologically asymptomatic
Huntington’s disease gene carriers.Psychiatry Research, 102, 217-225..
Mathuranath PS, Xuereb JH, Bak T, Hodges JR (2000) Corticobasal ganglionic degeneration and/or
frontotemporal dementia? A report of two overlap cases and review of literature. Journal of Neurology,
Neurosurgery and Pyschiatry, 68, 304-312.
Bak TH, Hodges JR (1999) Cognition, Language and Behaviour in Motor Neurone Disease: Evidence of
Frontotemporal Dysfunction. Dementia and Geriatric Cognititve Disorders, 10 (suppl.1), 29-32.
Hodges JR, Patterson K, Ward R, Garard P, Bak T, Perry R, Gregory C (1999) The Differentiation of
Semantic Dementia and Frontal Lobe Dementia from early Alzheimer’s Disease: A Comparative
Neuropsychological study. Neuropsychology, 13, 31-40.
Bak T, Hodges JR (1997) Noun-verb dissociation in three patients with motor neuron disease and aphasia. Brain
and Language , 60, 38-41.
Bak TH, Bauer M., Schaub RT, Hellweg R, Reischies FM (1995) Myoclonus in patients treated with Clozapine - a case
series. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 56, 418-422.
Wallesch CW, Bak TH, Schulte-Moenting J (1992) Acute aphasia - patterns and prognosis. Aphasiology, 6, 373-385
Wallesch B, Bak TH, Johannsen HS, Wallesch CW (1990) Ueber die Pathogenese und Prognose der transkortikal-
motorischen Aphasia. Sprache, Stimme, Gehoer, 14, 159-162.
INVITED REVIEW ARTICLES AND BOOK CHAPTERS
Bak TH, Hodges JR (2008) Corticobasal Degeneration: clinical aspects. In Duyckaerts C & Litvan I (ed) Handbook of
Clinical Neurology: Dementias, 509-521.
Bak TH (2007) Frontotemporal Dementia: Overlap syndromes. In Hodges JR (ed) Frontotemporal Dementia
(Cambridge University Press), 80-101.
Bak TH, Mioshi E (2007) A cognitive bedside assessment beyond the MMSE: the Addenbrooke’s Cognitive
Examination. Practical Neurology, 7: 245-249.
Bak TH (2006) Cognitive Profiles of Parkinsonian Syndromes. Advances in Clinical Neurology and Rehabilitation, 6 (5),
Bak TH, Lennox GG (2005) Dementia with Lewy Bodies, Historical background.Chapter 1(1-8) in
O’Brien, McKeith, Ames & Chiu (eds) Dementia with Lewy Bodies; Taylor and Francis; London, New York.
Bak TH (2005) Aphasia. Cognitive Primer. Advances in Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, 5 (2): 30-32.
Bak TH, Hodges JR (1998) The Neuropsychology of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Neurocase, 4, 89-94.
Wallesch CW, Bak TH (1992) Acute aphasia. In Kuschinsky, W, Hoyer, S., Hartmann, A (eds) Cerebral Ischemia and
RECENT POSTER PRESENTATIONS (2006-2009)
Bak TH & Carthery-Goulart MT (2009) The breakdown of syntactic processing in Motor Neurone Disease/
Frontotemporal Dementia; 27th
European Workshop in Cognitive Neuropsychology, Bressanone, January 2009.
Retsa C, Bekinschtein T, Bak TH (2009) Hear or Seen, Left or Right? Effects of spatial position and modality on
temrpoal judgements. ; 27th
European Workshop in Cognitive Neuropsychology, Bressanone, January 2009.
Bak TH, Ramirez Ruiz B, Erzinclioglu S, Hodges JR (2008) Relation between verb/action processing and behavioural
measures in patients with Semantic Dementia; Academy of Aphasia, Turku, October 2008.
Carthery-Goulart MT, Bak TH (2008) Language Comprehension Deficits can distinguish Frontotemporal Dementia/
Motor Neuron Disease (FTD.MND) from the behavioural variant of Frontotemporal Dementia (bvFTD); Academy of
Aphasia, Turku, October 2008.
Jelowicka A, Bak TH, Seniow J, Marslen-Wilson W (2008) Dissociating stem and affix-based processing in Polish
aphasia. Academy of Aphasia, Turku, October 2008.
Bak TH, Everington S, Garvin, S, Sorace A (2008) Difference in performance on auditory attention task between
Monolinguals and Bilinguals; International Workshop on Bilingualism, Ghent, September 2008.
Ramirez Ruiz B, Erziclioglu S, Hodges JR, Bak TH (2008) Relative preservation of verb/action knowledge in patients
with Semantic Dementia and its relationship to behavioural measures. International Cognitive Neurology Meeting,
Marmaris, June 2008.
Jelowicka A., Bak TH, Seniow J, Marslen-Wilson, W.D. (2008) Dissociation of stem and affix selection processes in
Polish fluent and non-fluent aphasia. Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San Francisco.
Bak TH, Hodges, JR, Steele JC (2007) Towards a better understanding of the relationship between the Mariana
Dementia and the ALS/Parkinsonism/Dementia Complex of Guam (Lytico-Bodig). Annual Conference of the Movement
Disorders Society, Istanbul, June 2007.
Bak TH, Hodges JH (2007) The behavioural changes in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) are not just a mild
form of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Annual Conference of the Movement Disorders Society, Istanbul, June 2007.
Jelowicka A, Bak TH, Seniow J, Czlonkowska A, Marslen-Wilson WD (2006). Elicitation, irregularity and stem change
in non-fluent aphasia: Evidence from Polish. Thirteenth Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, San
Bak TH, Xuereb JH, Hodges JR (2006) The importance of cognitive symptoms for the diagnosis of atypical
parkinsonian syndromes. Annual Conference of the Movement Disorders Society. Kyoto.
Bak TH, Steele JC (2006) New insights into the ALS/Parkinsonism/Dementia Complex (ALS/PDS) of Guam. Annual
Conference of the Movement Disorders Society. Kyoto.
RECENT INVITED LECTURES (2006-2009)
“La degenerazione corticobasale – il camaleonte della neurologia” (“Corticobasal degeneration: the cameleon of
neurology”; Malattie Neurodegenerative, Focus sul Parkinson e sulle demenze. Sept 2009, Catania/Italy.
“O sìndrome corticobasal” (“Corticobasal Syndrome”); 2nd
Brasilian Meeting on Frontotemporal Dementias,
September 2009, São Paulo/Brasil.
“Why is William of Ockham not a good guide to dementias” Turkish National Neuroscience Meeting, April 2009,
“ALS, FTD & behaviour: Learning from the Old Masters”– Opening lecture of the Third International Conference on
ALS/FTD, June 2009, London/Ontario, Canada
“What can Motor Neuron Disease teach us about Semantics?” British Aphasiology Society Biennial Meeting,
September 2007, Edinburgh
“Movement, behaviour, language and cognition: putting the puzzle together again”. Annual Meeting of the
Indian Psychiatric Association, January 2007, Chennai. India.
OTHER INVITED LECTURES (SELECTION)
“Degenerazione Corticobasale” (Corticobasal Degeneration”), Focus on Parkinsonism, May 2009, Ancona, Italy
“The cognitive and behavioural disorder of Progressive Supranuclear Palsy”, Annual Conference of the
European Federation of the Neurological Societies EFNS, August 08, Madrid.
“From taxonomy to ecology: changing perspectives on word class deficits”, Annual Cognitive Neurology
Meeting, May 2008, Marmaris
“Actions, words & concepts: from taxonomy to ecology”, Trieste Symposium on Perception and
Cognition October 2007, Trieste, Italy
“La relación entre el lenguaje y las alteraciones motoras en las enfermedades neurodegenerativas” (”The
relationship between language and motor symptoms in neurodegenerative diseases”) Annual Meeting of the Spanish
Society for Neurology, October 2007, Barcelona.
“From clinical observation to scientific theory”. Dec 06, Nizam's Medical Institute, Hyderabad, India.
TEACHING COURSES (SELECTION)
September 2009, Teaching Session at the Neurology Department, University of São Paulo, Brasil
May 2009, Teaching Course of the European Federation of Neurological Societies EFNS, Stare Splavy, Czech
June 2008, Joint Teaching Course of EFNS and Movement Disorders Society (MDS), Uzhorod, Ukraine