Anna Gui

Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Psychological Sciences

Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development,

Birkbeck, University of London


Twitter: @annagui86


Research interests


Trained as a child-therapist, I am a developmental researcher interested in the neurobiological mechanisms underlying individual differences in developmental trajectories. I am currently working as a senior post-doc at the GEL Lab with Prof. Angelica Ronald, Prof. Mark Johnson and Prof. Frank Dudbridge. Our Genetics of Early Milestones and Skills (GEMS) project aims to uncover the genetic bases of motor development in infancy and understand how early sensory-motor atypicalities are linked to autism.

During my previous post-doc at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, I coordinated the Behaviour and Online Neuroimaging to study the Development of Socialisation (BONDS) and Transformative Approach with Babies in the Scanner (TABS) studies (PIs: Prof. Emily Jones, Prof. Robert Leech, Prof. Fred Dick).

My PhD was dedicated to explore the neural, genetic and epigenetic signatures of behavioural differences in social attention. To this aim, I collected DNA and behavioural data from the children who participated in the British Autism Study of Infant Siblings (gBASIS) and their family members, under the supervision of Prof. Mark Johnson, Prof. Emily Jones and Dr. Emma Meaburn.




2019 - PhD in Psychology, Birkbeck College, University of London.

2015 - MSc in Cognitive Neuroscience (Distinction), University of Trento, Italy (2015).

2013 - First level Italian MSc in Child Rehabilitation and Research Methodology (Distinction), University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy (2013).

2008 - BSc in Neurological and Psychomotor Approach Therapy (First), University of Padova, Italy.




Gui A.*, Throm E.V.*, Haartsen R., Da Costa P.F., Leech R., Mason L., Jones E.J.H (2021, June 18th), Neuroadaptive optimisation to study individual differences in neural correlates of social attention,

Da Costa P.F., Haartsen R., Throm E., Mason L., Gui A., Leech R., Jones E.J.H. (2021), Neuroadaptive electroencephalography: a proof-of-principle study in infants, arXiv, 2106.06029, arXiv:2106.06029

Gui A., Meaburn E., Tye C., Charman T., Johnson M.H., Jones E.J.H. (2021), Association of polygenic liability for autism with face-sensitive cortical responses from infancy, JAMA Pediatrics, Published online June 07, 2021,

Gui A. (2021), A neurodevelopmental perspective on sex-differentiated genetic effects on behavior, Biological Psychiatry, 89:12, e63-e65,

Gui A., Bussu G., Tye C., Elsabbagh M., Charman T., Johnson M.H. and Jones E.J.H. (2021), Attentive brain states to faces in infants with and without later autism, Translational Psychiatry, 11: 196.

Gui A., Mason, L., Gliga, T., Hendry, A., Begum Ali, J., Pasco G., Shephard E., Curtis C., Charman T., Johnson M.H., Meaburn E., Jones E.J.H. and the BASIS team (2020), Look duration at the face as a developmental endophenotype: elucidating pathways to Autism and ADHD, Development and Psychopathology, 1-20,

Gui A., Jones E.J.H., Wong C.C.Y., Meaburn E., Xia B., Pasco G., Lloyd-Fox S., Charman T., Bolton P., Johnson M.H. & the BASIS team (2020), Leveraging epigenetics to understand developmental trajectories of social attention: A proof-of-principle study of DNA methylation in infants with an older sibling with autism, Infant Behavior and Development, 60: 101409,

Braithwaite E., Gui A., Jones E. (2020), Social attention: What is it, how can we measure it, and what can it tell us about autism and ADHD?, in Sabine Hunnius, Marlene Meyer, Progress in Brain Research: Early Social-Cognitive Development, Elsevier,254: 271- 303,

Gui, A. (2019) Evaluating the role of social attention in the causal path to Autism Spectrum Disorder, Doctoral thesis, Birkbeck, University of London.


Funding and awards


Birkbeck Wellcome Trust Institutional Strategic Support Fund (ISSF) for PhD students completing their thesis (2019)

Marie Sklodowksa-Curie Innovative Training Network PhD fellowship (2015 – 2019)

Merit Award for MSc, University of Trento (2015)

Erasmus + Mobilità per Studio - European mobility scholarship at the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Nijmegen, the Netherlands (2015)

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique for research internship at Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Perception, Paris Descartes, France (2014)

Opera Universitaria Stage for research internship at Laboratoire de Psychologie de la Perception, Paris Descartes, France (2014)