The GAIA Project

The Genetic Associations in Attention (GAIA) Project

Gel team members working on the project: Dr Angelica Ronald, Dr Kostas Papageorgiou

Funded by the Waterloo Foundation and the Royal Society


Research has indicated that individual differences in attention in infants are related to many forms of later psychopathology, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and schizophrenia. Genetic research on the development of behavioural and cognitive traits is still fairly rare and yet could be of value for intervention and prevention strategies.

The Project

Infant attention is studied at the Centre for Brain and Cognitive Development using eye tracking, electrophysiology, experimental paradigms, and parental questionnaires. This project aims to collect behavioural and genetic data on a sample of infants who are assessed at the Babylab at Birkbeck's CBCD.


Papageorgiou, K.A., Smith, T.J., Wu, R., Johnson, M.H., Kirkham, N.Z., & Ronald, A. (2014). Individual differences in infant fixation duration relate to attention and behavioral control in childhood. Psychological Science, 25,1371-1379.

Papageorgiou, K.A. & Ronald, A. (2013). 'He who sees things grow from the beginning will have the finest view of them' A systematic review of genetic studies on psychological traits in infancy. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 37, 1500-1517.


Genes Environment Lifespan Laboratory