Dr David Punt PhD MCSP

Dr David Punt

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Associate Professor
Physiotherapy Programme Lead

Contact details

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabiliation Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

A latecomer to higher education, Dr David Punt spent the first decade or so of his career working full-time as a physiotherapist in the field of stroke rehabilitation. An interest in the neglect syndrome following stroke led him to undertake a PhD in experimental psychology (funded by a Stroke Association Fellowship), focusing on neglect-related movement problems.  Since then, his research has continued to steer a course between rehabilitation and experimental psychology.  

David’s research group conducts experimental research exploring cognitive and motor performance in unimpaired individuals as well as those with a health condition, mainly stroke. Since joining the school, his research has been funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust. 

Since 2020, he has led the physiotherapy programme, overseeing development of the university’s new 4-year undergraduate (integrated) masters degree (MSci). The university was subsequently ranked number one in the UK for physiotherapy in 2023, 2024 and 2025.  When he steps down from this role in 2025, he intends to spend more time in the lab!

David retains an honorary contract with the National Health Service and works as a physiotherapist with the Inpatient Stroke Rehabilitation Team at Moseley Hall Hospital (Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Trust). In 2023, he was awarded funding from NHS England to develop an innovative student-staffed stroke rehabilitation service within the university; the Physio for Stroke service welcomed its first patients in 2024.


PhD Psychology (University of Birmingham) – 2004
MSc Clinical Neuroscience (Roehampton Institute, Surrey) - 1998
Grad Dip Physiotherapy (Royal Liverpool Hospital College) – 1990


David qualified as a physiotherapist (1990) and then worked in the National Health Service for many years, specializing in neurological rehabilitation. He completed an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience (1998) and a PhD in Psychology (2004).  He was appointed Senior Lecturer in the School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Birmingham in October 2013.


David co-leads the Year 3 module Clinical Neuroscience and Rehabilitation, an optional module for students studying MSci Physiotherapy, BSc/MSci Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, BSc Human Neuroscience and related intercalating medical students.

He has led the Year 4 module Research Project since 2024, compulsory for all MSci Physiotherapy students and an option for other MSci students in the school.

He contributes to teaching neurological rehabilitation for all pre-registration physiotherapy students.

He supervises BSc, MSci and MSc projects students across all programmes in the school.

Educational leadership roles in the school have included Year 3 Tutor (2013-2018), Deputy Head of Education (2018-20) and Physiotherapy Programme Lead (since 2020).

Postgraduate supervision

David has supervised the following research students to completion; Luluh Alabdulaali, Latifah Alazmi, Ahmad Alghamdi, Tim Bennett, Jin Min Kim, Chotica Laksanaphuk, Sybille Roschka, Matthew Taylor, David Sardar and Anabela Silva.

Current research students include Ioanna Giannakou and Ziyan Chen.

He welcomes interest from prospective research students who wish to conduct research in his area of interest and those interested are encouraged to contact him informally prior to submitting an application.  Projects may appear on FindAPhd.


Research Interests

Stroke rehabilitation, the neglect syndrome, bimanual coordination, learned nonuse, anosognosia for hemiparesis, pusher behaviour (lateropulsion), motor imagery

Other activities

External examining

  • External Examiner – BSc Physiotherapy – University of Bradford (2020-2024).
  • External Examiner – MSc Neurorehabilitation – Brunel University (2008-2012).
  • External Examiner – MRes Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation – University of Leeds (2020-2024) 

External Examiner (PhD/MD) – University of Lancaster, University of Leeds (x3), University of Queensland, University of Warwick (x2) 

Ad hoc referee for:

Journals - Age and Ageing, British Journal of Psychology, Clinical Rehabilitation, Cortex, Disability and Rehabilitation, Experimental Brain Research, Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, Journal of Motor Behavior, Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, Journal of Neurology, Psychiatry and Neurosurgery, Journal of Neuropsychology, Journal of Rehabilitation and Assistive Technologies Engineering, Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, Neuropsychologia, Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, Pain, Pain Medicine, Pain Research and Management, Physiotherapy, Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 

Research Grants – Medical Research Council, Physiotherapy Research Foundation, The Stroke Association, Parkinson’s UK, Northern Ireland Chest Heart and Stroke, National Institute for Health Research (various programmes), Dunhill Medical Trust, European Research Council. 

Commissioning panel member - Research for Patient Benefit (RfPB) programme (Yorkshire and The Humber), National Institute for Health Research (2006-2010).


Association of Chartered Physiotherapists Interested in Neurology (ACPIN)

British Neuropsychological Society (BNS)

Chartered Society of Physiotherapy (CSP)

Posture and Mobility Group (PMG) – Trustee and Chair of Research Committee (2014-2018)

Society for Neuroscience (SfN)

Society for Research in Rehabilitation (SRR) - Member of Council (2008-2011)


Recent publications


Kim, J, Yeo, S-H & Punt, TD 2024, 'Through the looking-glass: Mirror feedback modulates temporal and spatial aspects of bimanual coordination', Human Movement Science, vol. 96, 103237. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.humov.2024.103237

Nolan, J, Jacques, A, Godecke, E, Abe, H, Babyar, S, Bergmann, J, Birnbaum, M, Dai, S, Danells, C, Edwards, T, Gandolfi, M, Jahn, K, Koter, R, Mansfield, A, Nakamura, J, Pardo, V, Perennou, D, Piscicelli, C, Punt, D, Romick-Sheldon, D, Saeys, W, Smania, N, Vaes, N, Whitt, A & Singer, B 2023, 'Clinical practice recommendations for management of lateropulsion after stroke determined by a Delphi expert panel', Clinical Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.1177/02692155231172012

Sinani, C, Henderson, R, Yeo, S-H, Vaughan, R & Punt, D 2023, 'Implicit motor sequence learning in adults with and without Developmental Coordination Disorder (DCD)', Advances in Neurodevelopmental Disorders. https://doi.org/10.1007/s41252-023-00327-4

Sardar, SD, Yeo, S-H, Allsop, JE & Punt, D 2023, 'Overt visual attention and between-limb asynchrony for bimanual reaching movements', Experimental Brain Research, vol. 241, no. 2, pp. 649–660. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00221-023-06552-6

Giannakou, I, Lin, D & Punt, D 2022, 'Computer-based assessment of unilateral spatial neglect: A systematic review', Frontiers in Neuroscience, vol. 16, 912626. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2022.912626

Hirsch, T, Barthel, M, Aarts, P, Chen, Y-A, Freivogel, S, Johnson, M, Jones, T, Jongsma, M, Maier, M, Punt, D, Sterr, A, Wolf, S & Heise, K-F 2021, 'A First Step Toward the Operationalization of the Learned Non-Use Phenomenon: A Delphi Study', Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 383-392. https://doi.org/10.1177/1545968321999064

Abichandani, D, Barbero, M, Cescon, C, Gallace, A, Punt, D, Sanchis-Sanchez, E & Falla, D 2020, 'Can people with chronic neck pain recognize their own digital pain drawing?', Pain physician, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. E231-E240. <https://www.painphysicianjournal.com/linkout?issn=1533-3159&vol=23&page=E231>

Weightman, M, Brittain, JS, Punt, D, Miall, RC & Jenkinson, N 2020, 'Targeted tDCS selectively improves motor adaptation with the proximal and distal upper limb', Brain stimulation, vol. 13, no. 3, pp. 707-716. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brs.2020.02.013

Rosenthal, O, Wing, A, Wyatt, J, Punt, T, Brownless, B, Koko, C & Miall, R 2019, 'Boosting robot-assisted rehabilitation of stroke hemiparesis by individualized selection of upper limb movements: a pilot study', J Neuroeng Rehabil, vol. 16, no. 1, 42. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12984-019-0513-0

Alazmi, L, Gadsby, GE, Heneghan, NR & Punt, TD 2018, 'Do trunk-based left/right judgment tasks elicit motor imagery?', Musculoskeletal Science and Practice, vol. 35, pp. 55-60. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msksp.2018.03.002

Rosser, C, Punt, T & Ryan, C 2018, 'Left/right limb judgement task performance following total knee replacement', Journal of Back and Musculoskeletal Rehabilitation. https://doi.org/10.3233/BMR-171104


Rosenthal, O, Wing, AM, Wyatt, JL, Punt, D, Brownless, B, Ko-Ko, C & Miall, RC 2019, 'Correction to:: Boosting robot-assisted rehabilitation of stroke hemiparesis by individualized selection of upper limb movements - A pilot study (Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation DOI: 10.1186/s12984-019-0513-0)', Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation, vol. 16, no. 1, 51. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12984-019-0521-0


Nolan, J, Jacques, A, Godecke, E, Abe, H, Babyar, S, Birnbaum, J, Dai, S, Danells, C, Edwards, T, Gandolfi, M, Jahn, K, Koter, R, Mansfield, A, Nakamura, J, Pardo, V, Punt, D, Romick-Sheldon, D, Saeys, W, Smania, N, Vaes, N, Whitt, A & Singer, B 2022, 'Post-stroke lateropulsion terminology: pushing for agreement amongst experts', Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine, vol. 65, no. 6, 101684. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rehab.2022.101684


Hirsch, T, Barthel, M, Aarts, P, Chen, Y-A, Freivogel, S, Johnson, MJ, Jones, TA, Jongsma, MLA, Maier, M, Punt, D, Sterr, A, Wolf, SL & Heise, K-F 2020 'Operationalization of the learned non-use phenomenon - A Delphi study' medRxiv. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.03.18.20037374

Review article

Alabdulaali, L, Hickman, L, Punt, TD & Jenkinson, N 2022, 'Effectiveness of transcranial direct current stimulation on hand dexterity in stroke patients: a protocol for a systematic review and meta-analysis', BMJ open, vol. 12, no. 2, e056064. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2021-056064

View all publications in research portal