About me

I am interested in consciousness and cognition. In particular, I study the level of awareness experienced by patients with severe brain injuries, such as those in the Vegetative State.

Patients in the Vegetative State appear to be awake but show no external signs of awareness of themselves or of their environments.

In a study published in The Lancet, we used EEG to show that nearly 20% of a group of Vegetative State patients were in fact aware, despite appearing entirely unconscious.

One of my primary research aims is to develop this approach to allow these patients to communicate with the outside world.

I am also interested in characterising the way in which this condition compares to other states of altered consciousness – such as when under sedation or asleep. This will allow a clearer understanding of what it is like to be in a vegetative state.

I am funded by a Canadian Institutes of Health Research Post-Doctoral Fellowship, and supervised by Adrian Owen at Western University’s Brain and Mind Institute.

Feel free to get in contact with me at dcruse@uwo.ca

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