Dr Davinia Fernández-Espejo PhD

Dr Davinia Fernández-Espejo

School of Psychology
Senior Lecturer

Contact details

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

Davinia Fernández-Espejo’s main goal is to understand how the brain supports consciousness and what goes wrong for patients to become entirely unaware after severe brain injury. She uses techniques such as MRI (structural and functional), tDCS, and behavioural approaches in both healthy volunteers and patients with a disorder of consciousness to test hypotheses about the role of different brain structures in the clinical deficits they present. This research is directly translated into the development of diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers to be used in clinical settings, as well as the development of novel treatment approaches.

Qualifications

PhD in Biomedicine (Universitat de Barcelona)
MSc in Neuroscience (Universitat de Barcelona)

Teaching

Most recently, Dr Fernández-Espejo has been Module Leader for Applications of Brain Imaging in Cognitive Neuroscience

Publications

Recent publications

Article

Stafford, C, Owen, A & Fernandez-Espejo, D 2019, 'The neural basis of external responsiveness in prolonged disorders of consciousness', NeuroImage: Clinical, vol. 22, 101791. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2019.101791

Demertzi, A, Tagliazucchi, E, Dehaene, S, Deco, G, Barttfeld, P, Raimondo, F, Martial, C, Fernandez-Espejo, D, Rohaut, B, Voss, H, Schiff, N, Owen, A, Laureys, S, Naccache, L & Sitt, J 2019, 'Human consciousness is supported by dynamic complex patterns of brain signal coordination: distinct brain patterns sustain conscious states', Science Advances, vol. 5, no. 2, eaat7603, pp. eaat7603. https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aat7603

Cruse, D, Fattizzo, M, Owen, AM & Fernandez-Espejo, D 2017, 'Why use a mirror to assess visual pursuit in prolonged disorders of consciousness? Evidence from healthy control participants', BMC Neurology, vol. 17, 14. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12883-017-0798-1

Gibson, RM, Chennu, S, Fernandez-Espejo, D, Naci, L, Owen, AM & Cruse, D 2016, 'Somatosensory attention identifies both overt and covert awareness in disorders of consciousness', Annals of Neurology, vol. 80, no. 3, pp. 412-423. https://doi.org/10.1002/ana.24726

Lant, ND, Gonzalez-Lara, LE, Owen, AM & Fernández-Espejo, D 2016, 'Relationship between the anterior forebrain mesocircuit and the default mode network in the structural bases of disorders of consciousness', NeuroImage: Clinical, vol. 10, pp. 27-35. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nicl.2015.11.004

Osborne, NR, Owen, AM & Fernández-Espejo, D 2015, 'The dissociation between command following and communication in disorders of consciousness: an fMRI study in healthy subjects', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 9, 493. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2015.00493

Graham, M, Weijer, C, Peterson, A, Naci, L, Cruse, D, Fernández-Espejo, D, Gonzalez-Lara, L & Owen, AM 2015, 'Acknowledging awareness: informing families of individual research results for patients in the vegetative state', Journal of Medical Ethics, vol. 41, no. 7, pp. 534-8. https://doi.org/10.1136/medethics-2014-102078

Graham, M, Weijer, C, Cruse, D, Fernandez-Espejo, D, Gofton, T, Gonzalez-Lara, LE, Lazosky, A, Naci, L, Norton, L, Peterson, A, Speechley, KN, Young, B & Owen, AM 2015, 'An Ethics of Welfare for Patients Diagnosed as Vegetative With Covert Awareness', AJOB Neuroscience, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 31-41. https://doi.org/10.1080/21507740.2015.1014072

Fernandez-Espejo, D, Rossit, S & Owen, A 2015, 'A Thalamocortical Mechanism for the Absence of Overt Motor Behavior in Covertly Aware Patients', JAMA Neurology. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2015.2614

Cavaliere, C, Aiello, M, Di Perri, C, Fernandez-Espejo, D, Owen, AM & Soddu, A 2014, 'Diffusion tensor imaging and white matter abnormalities in patients with disorders of consciousness', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 8, pp. 1028. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.01028

Weijer, C, Peterson, A, Webster, F, Graham, M, Cruse, D, Fernández-Espejo, D, Gofton, T, Gonzalez-Lara, LE, Lazosky, A, Naci, L, Norton, L, Speechley, K, Young, B & Owen, AM 2014, 'Ethics of neuroimaging after serious brain injury', Clinical Ethics, vol. 15, pp. 41. https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6939-15-41

Gibson, RM, Fernández-Espejo, D, Gonzalez-Lara, LE, Kwan, BY, Lee, DH, Owen, AM & Cruse, D 2014, 'Multiple tasks and neuroimaging modalities increase the likelihood of detecting covert awareness in patients with disorders of consciousness', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, vol. 8, pp. 950. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2014.00950

Fernández-Espejo, D, Norton, L & Owen, AM 2014, 'The clinical utility of fMRI for identifying covert awareness in the vegetative state: a comparison of sensitivity between 3T and 1.5T', PLoS ONE, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. e95082. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0095082

Comment/debate

Fernandez-Espejo, D & Owen, AM 2016, 'Peripheral causes of cognitive motor dissociation in patients with vegetative or minimally conscious state - Reply', JAMA Neurology, vol. 73, no. 5, pp. 608-609. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamaneurol.2016.0143

Letter

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

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