I am interested in cognitive development and well-being from different perspectives, using multiple methodologies and doing translational work. My current projects and collaborations include:
Harnessing Global Data is an Interdisciplinary global heath and development project which brings together academics, policy makers and regional network policy implementors to understand the individual, societal and economic impacts of investments in early childhood education and development.
Developing new child and adolescent mental health assessments and interventions alongside individuals with lived experience. Combining PPI, qualitative and quantitative NHS research with Computerized Adaptive Testing to develop better measures and interventions more relevant to the concerns of young people.
- Baby Grow
Baby Grow Project: Identifying early markers of atypical development in naturalistic motor behaviour using high frequency sampling in the first year of life using wearable baby grow sensors and video coding clinical assessments.
Investigating the evolution and development of language, assessing a fine motor proto-syntax across species and development using puzzle boxes.
COHORTS comprises five of the largest and longest running birth cohort studies in low- and middle-income countries: South Africa, Guatemala, Philippines, India and Brazil. Our collaboration looks at the influence on early life adversity on development, and in particular I am looking at adolescent cognitive and social-emotional behaviour
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)
- NERC Discipline hopping fund (Co-I, Dec 2022, £17,830)
- Simons Foundation (Co-I, Aug 2022 £500,000)
- Birkbeck Research Innovation Fund (July 2021- July 2022)
- 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
Donati, G., Cappa, C., McCoy, D., Cuartas, J., Cortina-Borja, M., Naicker, S., Richter, L., Behrman, J., Rao, N., Daelmans, B and Stein, A. (Under review) The importance of parental well-being in child development: Pathways through parental stimulation and violent discipline across six low- and middle-income countries, JAMA paediatrics
Donati, G. Edginton, T., Bardo, A., Kivell, T., Ballieux,H., Stamate, C., Forrester, G., (In Revision) Modern human cognition emerges from ancient vertebrate brain traits, PNAS
Cuartas, J., McCoy, D., Sanchez, J., Behrman, J. Cappa, C., Donati, G., Heymann, J., Lu, C., Raikes, A., Rao, N., Richter, L., Stein, A., Yoshikawa, H. (2023) Family, Play, Reading, and Other Stimulation and Early Child Development in Five Low- and Middle-Income Countries, Developmental Science https://doi.org/10.1111/desc.13404
Fredman*, S., Donati, G and Naicker, S. (2023) New beginnings: The right to equality and early childhood care and education, South African Journal on Human Rights
Stein, A., Adiar, L., Donati, G., Wray, C., Richter, L., Norris, S., Stein, A., Martorell, R., Ramirez-Zea, M., Menezes, A., Murray, J., Victora, C., Lee, N., Bas, I. and COHORTS., (2022) Early life stature, preschool cognitive development, schooling attainment and cognitive functioning in adulthood in four birth cohorts: COHORTS, The Lancet Global Health
Donati, G*., Fredman*, S.,Richter, L., Naicker, S., Behrman, J., Lu, C., Cohrssen, C., Lopez Boo, F., Raghavan, C., Devercelli, A., Heymann, J., Stein, A and Harnessing Global Data Collaboration (2022) The right to early childhood care and education in international law is essential to equitable protection of all children’s development and health during and beyond COVID-19, Human Rights Law Review, 22, 1-20.
Bardo, A., Kivell, T., Town, K., Donati, G. Ballieux,H., Stamate, C., Edginton, T., Forrester, G., (2022) The precision of the human hand: variability in pinch strength and manual dexterity, Symmetry
Davis, R., Donati, G. Finnegan, K., Boardman, J.P., Dean, B., Fletcher-Watson, S., Forrester G.S., (2021) Social gaze in preterm infants may act as an early indicator of atypical lateralisation, Child Development. DOI: 10.1111/cdev.13734
Bardo, A., Kivell, T., Town, K., Donati, G. Ballieux,H., Stamate, C., Edginton, T., Forrester, G., (2021) Get a grip: Variation in human hand grip strength and implications for human evolution, Symmetry
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.
Donati, G.. & Pastor, G. H.,(2008). Yasuní Green Gold: The Amazon fight to keep oil underground. New Internationalist. Forward by Dr Jane Goodall
- The Molecular Genetics of Cognitive Phenotypes, MSc Genetics of Development module, 2021, Birkbeck
- 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
“Emotional well-being and resilience: What can we learn from our ape cousins?” Child and Adolescent Mental Health Seminar Series, University of Oxford, (2023)
“Scaling up local findings. From p-values to policy”, Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck College, UK (2022)
“Emotion Regulation and Executive Function in Adolescence and Early Adulthood” Child and Adolescent Mental Health Webinar Series, University of Oxford, (2021)
“Assessing Cognitive Ability in Global Contexts” for Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, (2021)
“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)
‘The biases that matter: How motor-sensory laterality relates to complex cognition’ North Sea Laterality Conference, (August 2022), Bergen, Norway.
“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.