Monday, 24 October 2016

Research Seminar: Dr Kostas Papageorgiou (Queens University Belfast)

*** Everyone Welcome! No need to book in advance ***

Date: Thursday 3rd November
Time: 16:00-17:00
Room: Town Hall Committee Room 3

Dr Kostas Papageorgiou (Queens University Belfast)

Eyes are the Window to the Future Soul: Predicting individual differences in children's temperament and behaviour from the first day of their lives

Abstract: Individual differences in infants' visual attention have been associated with individual variation in cognitive and psychological traits in childhood. However, it has not been explored the degree to which individual variation in visual attention at birth, associates with individual differences in some forms of temperament and behaviour in childhood. Furthermore, little is known about the genetic causes of individual differences on newborn and infant visual attention.

In this talk I would present findings from three studies that explored: (1)the degree to which individual differences in infants’ mean fixation duration are associated with some forms of temperament and behaviour in childhood; (2) whether individual differences in newborns’ average dwell time are associated with some forms of temperament and behaviour in childhood; (3) the degree to which genome-wide variants previously found to increase the liability for ADHD and schizophrenia are associated with infants’ mean fixation duration and newborns’ average dwell time. 

Τhe findings suggest that individual differences in visual attention, as early as in the first days of postnatal life, can predict individual variation in attentional and behavioural control in childhood. Furthermore the genetic analysis indicated that genetic variants associated with later psychopathology predict variation in visual attention at birth and in infancy. 

Biography: Kostas uses an interdisciplinary approach in his research, combining diverse disciplines, including cognitive and developmental neuroscience, personality assessment and genetics. He was awarded a BSc degree (2005-2009) in Psychology from Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences (Athens, Greece). He moved to London in 2010 to pursue an MSc degree (2010-2011) in Cognitive and Clinical Neuroscience at Goldsmiths University of London. His MSc thesis explored different hypotheses--such as socialization, stereotype, and testosterone explanations--of sex differences in spatial and mathematical ability. In 2011, he was awarded a European Marie Curie fellowship, which gave him the opportunity to pursue a PhD (2011-2015) at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development, Birkbeck University of London. His PhD research investigated the genetic makeup of the attentional system in infancy and its association with temperament and symptoms of psychopathology throughout childhood. In 2014, Kostas started a lectureship at London Metropolitan University (2014-2016), where he taught genetics and developmental psychology and supervised BSc and MSc students’ research.  He is now a lecturer in Developmental Psychopathology at Queen’s University Belfast (since September 2016) and an Associate Professor, Chair of Personality Psychology at Tomsk State University in Russia.

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