Georgina Donati

Postdoctoral Researcher

Email: g.donati@bbk.ac.uk

 

Research interests

I am interested in the factors that influence cognitive ability across development in particular how it interacts with emotion.  At the CBCD I am investigating the evolution and development of language, assessing a fine motor proto-syntax across species and development.  I am also looking more broadly at the relationship between early lateralised behaviours and later cognitive outcomes.  I am also working at Oxford in the Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Group, working on interdisciplinary global heath and development projects.  I work with multiple methods from genetics and big data to building puzzle boxes.

 

Education

PhD Cognitive Neuroscience, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, (2015 - 18)

MA Educational Neuroscience Birkbeck and UCL Institute of Education (2013-14)

Cert HE Psychology Birkbeck (2012-13)

BA hons International Philosophy University of Leeds and University of Autonoma, Madrid (2004-8)

 

Awards

  • Wellcome Trust ISSF post-doc funding (October 2018-May 2019)
  • Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant (June 2018)
  • Grindley Grant, Experimental Psychology Society (September 2017)
  • Genetics Society Junior Travel Fund (June 2017)
  • PsyPAG Travel Fund (March 2017)
  • Birkbeck Travel Fund (January 2017)
  • Genetics Society: Communicating your science workshop (May 2016)
  • Birkbeck Anniversary PhD Studentship (2015-2018)

 

Peer-reviewed journal articles or book chapters

Fredman, S., Donati, G., ……Stein, A., Harnessing Global Data Collaboration (Submitted) The right to early childhood care and education in international law is essential to equitable protection of all children’s development and health during nad beyond COVID-19, The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health

Donati, G. Edginton, T., Bardo, A., Kivell, T., Ballieux,H., Stamate, C., Forrester, G., (Submitted) Modern human cognition emerges from ancient vertebrate brain traits, PNAS

Bardo, A., Kivell, T., Town, Katie., Donati, G. Ballieux,H., Stamate, C., Edginton, T.,  Forrester, G., (Submitted) Get a grip: Variation in human hand grip strength and implications for human evolution, Symmetry

Davis, R., Donati, G., Forrester G.S., (Submitted) Visual motor biases as early risk biomarkers of decreased cognitive ability in preterm infants, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Donati, G., Meaburn, E.L., Dumontheil, I., (2021) Internalising and externalising in early adolescence predict later executive function, not the other way around: a cross-lag analysis”, Cognition and Emotion

Donati, G., Dumontheil, I., Pain, O., Asbury, K., Meaburn, E.L., (2021) Evidence for specificity of polygenic contributions to attainment in English, maths and science during adolescence.” Scientific Reports, 11, 3851

Donati, G. & Forrester, G. S., (2021) Hindsight 20/20: The Future of Laterality Research, Laterality, 1-6

Donati, G., Davis, R., Forrester, G. S., (2020). Lateralised Gaze Behaviour at 6 months predict cognitive outcomes in children with and without autism, Scientific Reports 10, 13185

Donati, G., and Meaburn, E.L., (2020). What has behavioural genetic research told us about the origins of individual differences in educational abilities and achievements? in M. Thomas, D. Mareschal, I. Dumontheil, (Eds.) Educational Neuroscience (pp.53-87) New York: Routledge 3rd edition.

Donati, G., Dumontheil, I., Meaburn, E.L., (2019). Genome-wide association study of latent cognitive measures in adolescence: genetic overlap with intelligence and education, Mind, Brain and Education, 13, 224-233.

Donati, G., Meaburn, E.L., Dumontheil, I., (2019). The specificity of associations between cognition and attainment in English, maths and science during adolescence, Learning and Individual Differences, 69, 84-93.

 

Lectures

  • Development of Higher Order Functions in Adolescence and Schizophrenia, MSc Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience module, 2021, Birkbeck
  • ADHD and the Development of Attention and Executive Functions, MSc Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience module, 2021, Birkbeck
  • Cognitive and Brain Development in Adolescence, BSc Developmental Psychology module 2021, Birkbeck.
  • Development of Executive Functions in Childhood, 2016, MSc Paediatric Neuropsychology, Institute of Child Health, UCL
  • Development of Executive Function in Adolescence, 2016. MSc Paediatric Neuropsychology, Institute of Child Health, UCL
  • Seminar leader for the Research at Birkbeck module 2019 and 2020

 

Invited talks

“The role of tool use in the evolution and development of human language” for the Durham Cultural Evolution Research Centre, Durham University (2020)

“Adolescent development: linking brain and behaviour” For volunteers working with young refugees at the Baytree Centre, Brixton, UK (2018)

“What is special about the adolescent brain?” For young refugees at the Baytree Centre, Brixton, UK (2018)

“Can Educational Researchers learn anything from Genome-Wide Association Studies?” Centre for Educational Neuroscience, University of London, UK (2017)

“Developing reasoning in the classroom through philosophical enquiry” Centre for Educational Neuroscience, University of London Institute of Education, UK (2016)

“Executive functions and academic performance during adolescence: implications for genetic research” Centre for Educational Neuroscience, Birkbeck, UK (2016)

“Genetic architecture of adolescent emotion regulation profiles”, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, UK (2016)

“Emotion Regulation across Adolescence” Bloomsbury Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics Annual PhD conference.  University College London, UK (2016)

 

Posters

“Internalising and Externalising in early adolescence predict later executive function, not the other way around” Flux, (Sept 2020), Online.

“Meta-tool use as a precursor to human syntax” Brain and Behavioural Evolution in Primates, (Sept 2019), Sicily.

“Behavioural and genetic associations between internalising and externalising behaviours and executive functioning during adolescence” Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference, (March 2019), San Francisco.

“Emotional well-being predicts changes in executive functions during adolescence, not the other way around.” European Society for Cognitive and affective Neuroscience, (July 2018), Leiden.

“Assessing the relationship between executive functions, emotional traits and academic attainment during adolescence.” SIG22 Educational Neuroscience conference, (June 2018) Wellcome Trust, London.

“Characterising the relationship between cognitive functions and academic subjects in adolescence: Implications for genetic research.” British Neuropsychological Society Autumn meeting, (November 2017), Queen Square, London.

“Characterising the relationship between cognitive functions and academic subjects in adolescence: Implications for genetic research.” Cognitive Neuroscience of Executive Function Conference, (September 2017), Padua, Italy

“Genome-wide Association Study of executive functions and their genetic relationship with IQ, academic achievement and psychopathology.” Behavioural Genetics Association Annual Meeting, (June 28th – July 2nd, 2017), Oslo, Norway.