Dr Damian Cruse PhD

Dr Damian Cruse

School of Psychology
Associate Professor
Deputy Admissions

Contact details

School of Psychology
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

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.


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


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.


Dr Cruse is a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and currently teaches the first-year module Cognitive Psychology

Postgraduate supervision

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

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


Dr Cruse is the Chief Investigator for the LPAT study at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University Hospitals Birmingham. For more information on this study, please click here.

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

Dr Cruse is an Associate Editor for BMC Neurology.


Highlight publications

Cruse, D, Chennu, S, Chatelle, C, Bekinschtein, TA, Fernández-Espejo, D, Pickard, JD, Laureys, S & Owen, AM 2011, 'Bedside detection of awareness in the vegetative state: a cohort study', The Lancet, vol. 378, no. 9809, pp. 2088-94. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(11)61224-5

Sokoliuk, R, Degano, G, Banellis, L, Melloni, L, Hayton, T, Sturman, S, Veenith, T, Yakoub, KM, Belli, A, Noppeney, U & Cruse, D 2021, 'Covert speech comprehension predicts recovery from acute unresponsive states', Annals of Neurology, vol. 89, no. 4, pp. 646-656. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.25995

Banellis, L, Sokoliuk, R, Wild, CJ, Bowman, H & Cruse, D 2020, 'Event-related potentials reflect prediction errors and pop-out during comprehension of degraded speech', Neuroscience of Consciousness, vol. 2020, no. 1, niaa022. https://doi.org/10.1093/nc/niaa022

Beukema, S, Gonzalez-lara, LE, Finoia, P, Kamau, E, Allanson, J, Chennu, S, Gibson, RM, Pickard, JD, Owen, AM & Cruse, D 2016, 'A hierarchy of event-related potential markers of auditory processing in disorders of consciousness', NeuroImage: Clinical, vol. 12, pp. 359-371. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2016.08.003

Vidal Gran, C, Sokoliuk, R, Bowman, H & Cruse, D 2020, 'Strategic and Non-Strategic Semantic Expectations Hierarchically Modulate Neural Processing', eNeuro, vol. 7, no. 5, ENEURO.0229-20.2020, pp. 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1523/ENEURO.0229-20.2020

Recent publications


Cruse, D, Ragazinskaite, K, Chinner, A, Bareham, C, Roberts, N, Banner, R, Chennu, S & Villa, D 2024, 'Family caregivers’ sense-making of the results of functional neurodiagnostics for patients with Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness', Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1080/09602011.2023.2299448

Gibbings, A, Henry, MJ, Cruse, D, Stojanoski, B & Grahn, JA 2023, 'Attention modulates neural measures associated with beat perception', European Journal of Neuroscience. https://doi.org/10.1111/ejn.15962

Pavlov, YG, Adamian, N, Appelhoff, S, Arvaneh, M, Benwell, CSY, Beste, C, Bland, AR, Bradford, DE, Bublatzky, F, Busch, NA, Clayson, PE, Cruse, D, Czeszumski, A, Dreber, A, Dumas, G, Ehinger, B, Ganis, G, He, X, Hinojosa, JA, Huber-Huber, C, Inzlicht, M, Jack, BN, Johannesson, M, Jones, R, Kalenkovich, E, Kaltwasser, L, Karimi-Rouzbahani, H, Keil, A, König, P, Kouara, L, Kulke, L, Ladouceur, CD, Langer, N, Liesefeld, HR, Luque, D, MacNamara, A, Mudrik, L, Muthuraman, M, Neal, LB, Nilsonne, G, Niso, G, Ocklenburg, S, Oostenveld, R, Pernet, CR, Pourtois, G, Ruzzoli, M, Sass, SM, Schaefer, A, Senderecka, M, Snyder, JS, Tamnes, CK, Tognoli, E, van Vugt, MK, Verona, E, Vloeberghs, R, Welke, D, Wessel, JR, Zakharov, I & Mushtaq, F 2021, '#EEGManyLabs: investigating the replicability of influential EEG experiments', Cortex, vol. 144, pp. 213-229. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cortex.2021.03.013

Pérez, P, Madsen, J, Banellis, L, Türker, B, Raimondo, F, Perlbarg, V, Valente, M, Niérat, M, Puybasset, L, Naccache, L, Similowski, T, Cruse, D, Parra, LC & Sitt, JD 2021, 'Conscious processing of narrative stimuli synchronizes heart rate between individuals', Cell Reports, vol. 36, no. 11, 109692. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2021.109692

Sokoliuk, R, Degano, G, Melloni, L, Noppeney, U & Cruse, D 2021, 'The influence of auditory attention on rhythmic speech tracking: implications for studies of unresponsive patients', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 15, 702768. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2021.702768

O'Donnell, A, Pauli, R, Banellis, L, Sokoliuk, R, Hayton, T, Sturman, S, Veenith, T, Yakoub, K, Belli, T, Chennu, S & Cruse, D 2021, 'The prognostic value of resting-state EEG in acute post-traumatic unresponsive states', Brain Communications, vol. 3, no. 2, fcab017. https://doi.org/10.1093/braincomms/fcab017

Banellis, L & Cruse, D 2020, 'Skipping a Beat: Heartbeat-Evoked Potentials Reflect Predictions during Interoceptive-Exteroceptive Integration', Cerebral Cortex Communications, vol. 1, no. 1, tgaa060. https://doi.org/10.1093/texcom/tgaa060

Sokoliuk, R, CALZOLARI, S & Cruse, D 2019, 'Dissociable electrophysiological correlates of semantic access of motor and non-motor concepts', Scientific Reports, vol. 9, no. 1, 11482. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-47835-9

Rupawala, M, Dehghani, H, Lucas, SJE, Tino, P & Cruse, D 2018, 'Shining a Light on Awareness: A Review of Functional Near-Infrared Spectroscopy for Prolonged Disorders of Consciousness', Frontiers in neurology, vol. 9, 350. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2018.00350

Ragazzoni, A, Cincotta, M, Giovannelli, F, Cruse, D, Bryan Young, G, Miniussi, C & Rossi, S 2017, 'Clinical neurophysiology of prolonged disorders of consciousness: from diagnostic stimulation to therapeutic neuromodulation', Clinical Neurophysiology, vol. 128, no. 9, pp. 1629-1646. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.clinph.2017.06.037


Gibson, RM, Chennu, S, Fernández-Espejo, D, Naci, L, Owen, AM & Cruse, D 2017, 'Reply to "Is command following unrelated to top-down attention in consciousness disorders?"', Annals of Neurology, vol. 81, no. 1, pp. 160-161. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.24827

Other contribution

Fernández-Espejo, D, Aloi, D, Rocchetta, AID, Hoad, D, Greenwood, R, Playford, ED & Cruse, D 2020, Exploring the neural, behavioural, and clinical effects of transcranial direct current stimulation in patients with a Prolonged Disorder of Consciousness; protocol for a double-blind randomised crossover feasibility study.. https://doi.org/10.21203/rs.3.rs-15515/v1

Review article

Bowman, H, Collins, DJ, Nayak, AK & Cruse, D 2023, 'Is Predictive Coding Falsifiable?', Neuroscience and biobehavioral reviews, vol. 154, 105404. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2023.105404

Chinner, A, Pauli, R & Cruse, D 2021, 'The impact of prolonged disorders of consciousness on family caregivers’ quality of life – a scoping review', Neuropsychological Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1080/09602011.2021.1922463

Pauli, R, O'Donnell, A & Cruse, D 2020, 'Resting-State Electroencephalography for Prognosis in Disorders of Consciousness Following Traumatic Brain Injury', Frontiers in neurology, vol. 11, 586945. https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.586945

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