Dr Damian Cruse PhD

Dr Damian Cruse

School of Psychology
Lecturer

Contact details

Address
School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
Edgbaston
Birmingham
B15 2TT
UK

The aim of Dr Cruse’s research is to improve clinical practice following severe brain injury through the application of methods from cognitive electrophysiology. By identifying residual neural and cognitive mechanisms, it is possible to improve the accuracy of diagnoses and prognoses, and gain a more accurate understanding of how the brain supports consciousness and cognition.

Qualifications

BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology, 2006, Cardiff University
PhD Psychology, 2010, Cardiff University

Biography

Dr Cruse grew up in Aberystwyth, Wales, and studied his undergraduate degree in Applied Psychology at Cardiff University from 2002-2006. In 2009 he completed his PhD at Cardiff University under the supervision of Dr Ed Wilding. Before starting his current position at the University of Birmingham, Dr Cruse was a postdoctoral fellow at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit (Cambridge, UK) and a research scientist at The Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario (Canada) under the supervision of Professor Adrian M. Owen.

Teaching

Most recently, Dr Cruse has taught Semester Two of the Applied Psychology MOMD titled ‘Psychology, Health, and Wellbeing’.

Postgraduate supervision

Students interested in conducting postgraduate research are invited to email Dr Cruse. 

Current postgraduate students:

  • Leanne Calviello (MSc Brain Imaging and Cognitive Neuroscience; University of Birmingham)
  • Rae M Gibson (PhD Behavioural and Cognitive Neuroscience; University of Western Ontario)

A full list of current and previous lab members can be found at www.damiancruse.com 

Research

Research interests

Cognitive Electrophysiology
Dr Cruse uses a technique called electroencephalography, or EEG, to record the small electrical signals produced by the brain. By looking at the ways in which these signals change in response to different types of events and tasks it is possible to begin to understand the way in which the human brain supports thought. In particular, Dr Cruse is interested in how the brain processes speech and memories. 

Disorders of Consciousness
After a severe brain injury, some individuals progress into a state of disordered consciousness in which it is unclear whether they are conscious of themselves or their environments. Dr Cruse uses the methods of cognitive electrophysiology to determine what mental processes these patients possess, and applies this information to form more appropriate diagnoses and prognoses.

Brain-Computer Interfaces
Some types of brain injury leave individuals conscious but unable to move or communicate. By combining cognitive electrophysiology and a branch of computer science known as machine-learning, Dr Cruse aims to create communication devices that are driven entirely by the thoughts of the user. 

Predicting Recovery from Coma
In the days and weeks immediately following a severe brain injury, difficult decisions must be made about how to continue medical care. However, it is challenging for clinicians to accurately predict the extent to which a patient will recover. By identifying bedside markers of residual brain function, Dr Cruse aims to better-inform these critical care decisions.

Other activities

Member of the Scientific Committee of the Association for the Scientific Study of Consciousness (ASSC).

Publications

An up-to-date list of publications can be found on Dr. Cruse’s lab website – www.damiancruse.com