A 3-year fully-funded PhD studentship is available at the University of Birmingham supervised by Dr Damian Cruse and Prof Antonio Belli, with funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) Integrated Midlands Partnership for Biomedical Training (IMPACT).
Application Deadline: 16th January 2017
Check your eligibility and complete your application here.
The prognostic utility of electrophysiological responses to speech in post-traumatic coma.
One third of survivors of post-traumatic coma will develop a prolonged disorder of consciousness, such as the vegetative state, in which they appear to be awake but show minimal signs of being aware of themselves or their environments. Accurately predicting the level of recovery that will be achieved by each patient in coma is a major challenge for critical care medicine. Electroencephalography (EEG) is an inexpensive bedside method of probing the relative preservation of the neural networks that support consciousness, and may therefore hold the key to improving prognostic accuracy in this critical period post-injury. The successful applicant will be part of an MRC-funded project to investigate EEG markers of speech processing in both healthy individuals and patients who are comatose as a result of a severe traumatic brain injury. Patients in coma will be assessed with EEG within the first two-weeks post-injury and then followed for 12-months with further behavioural and EEG assessments that will provide an unprecedented characterisation of the level of consciousness that returns. This project is a unique opportunity to conduct cognitive neuroscience research that both contributes to our fundamental understanding of how the brain supports consciousness, and has a direct impact on clinical decision-making.