I am interested in the factors that influence cognitive ability across development as well as how it interacts with emotion. My current postdoc investigates the evolution and development of language, assessing a fine motor proto-syntax across species and development. It also looks more broadly at the relationship between early lateralised behaviours and later cognitive outcomes. I work with multiple methods from genetics and big data to building puzzle boxes.
PhD Cognitive Neuroscience, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck, (Oct 2018)
MA Educational Neuroscience (Distinction) Birkbeck and UCL Institute of Education (2013-14)
Cert HE Psychology (Distinction) Birkbeck (2012-13)
BA hons International Philosophy University of Leeds and University of Autonoma, Madrid (2004-8)
- Birkbeck Anniversary PhD Studentship (2015-2018)
- Genetics Society: Communicating your science workshop (May 2016)
- Birkbeck Travel Fund (January 2017)
- PsyPAG Travel Fund (March 2017)
- Genetics Society Junior Travel Fund (June 2017)
- Grindley Grant, Experimental Psychology Society (September 2017)
- Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant (June 2018)
- Wellcome Trust ISSF post-doc funding (October 2018-May 2019)
- Introduction to statistics with R. Centre of Applied Statistics, University College London, Institute of Child Health (June 2015)
- Science communication workshop, Chicheley Hall, Genetics Society (May 2016)
- Introduction to the Statistical Analysis of Genome-Wide Association Studies. Imperial College London, European Society of Human Genetics (July 2016)
- Visceral Mind VII: Neuroanatomy of Cognition. Bangor, University of Wales, UK (September 2016)
- International Workshop on Statistical Genetic Methods for Complex Human Traits. Boulder Colorado, US (March, 2017)
Publications, Talks and Conference Proceedings
· 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.
· 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(3), 224-233.
· Meaburn, E.L., and Donati, G., (2020) “What Has Behavioral Genetic Research Told Us About the Origins of Individual Differences in Educational Abilities and Achievements?”. In Eds M. Thomas, D. Mareschal and I. Dumontheil. Educational Neuroscience – Development Across the Life Span.
· Donati, G., Meaburn, E.L., Dumontheil, I., (Under review) “Externalising and internalising in early adolescence predict later working memory, not the other way around: a cross-lag design” Cognition and Emotion
· Donati, G., Dumontheil, I., Pain, O., Asbury, K., Meaburn, E.L., (Submitted) “Polygenic contribution and specificity in English, maths and science achievement, associations with the MEF2C gene.” Scientific reports
Donati, G., Davis, R., Forrester., G (Submitted) “Lateralised Gaze Behaviour at 6 months predict cognitive outcomes in children with and without autism” Scientific reports
Invited Talks and Guest Lectures
Donati, G. (2016). ‘Emotion Regulation across Adolescence’ Bloomsbury Centre for Genetic Epidemiology and Statistics Annual PhD conference. University College London, UK.
Donati, G. (2016). ‘Developing reasoning in the classroom through philosophical enquiry’ Centre for Educational Neuroscience, University of London Institute of Education, UK.
Donati, G. (2016). ‘Executive functions and academic performance during adolescence: implications for genetic research’ Centre for Educational Neuroscience, Birkbeck, UK.
Donati, G. (2016). ‘Genetic architecture of adolescent emotion regulation profiles’, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, UK.
Donati, G. (2016). ‘Development of Executive Function during Adolescence’, Guest Lecture on MSc Pediatric Neuropsychology, Institute of Child Health, University College London, UK.
Donati, G. (2017). ‘Can Educational Researchers learn anything from Genome-Wide Association Studies?” Centre for Educational Neuroscience, University of London, UK.
Donati, G. (2018). ‘What is special about the adolescent brain?’ For young refugees at the Baytree Centre, Brixton, UK.
Donati, G. (2018). ‘Adolescent development: linking brain and behaviour’ For volunteers working with young refugees at the Baytree Centre, Brixton, UK.
Donati, G. (2019). ‘Hand to Mouth: The role of tool use in the evolution and development of human language” Durham Cultural Evolution research Centre, Durham University.
Donati, G., Dumontheil, I., Meaburn E, “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.
Donati, G., Meaburn E, Dumontheil, I., “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
Donati, G., Meaburn E, Dumontheil, I., “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.
Donati, G., Meaburn E, Dumontheil, I., “Assessing the relationship between executive functions, emotional traits and academic attainment during adolescence.” SIG22 Educational Neuroscience conference, (June 2018) Wellcome Trust, London.
Donati, G., Meaburn E, Dumontheil, I., “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.
Donati, G., Meaburn E, Dumontheil, I., “Behavioural and genetic associations between internalising and externalising behaviours and executive functioning during adolescence” Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference, (March 2019), San Francisco.
Donati, G., Forrester G., “Meta-tool use as a precursor to human syntax” Brain and Behavioural Evolution in Primates, (Sept 2019), Sicily.