Understanding individual differences in human behaviour

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Understanding individual differences in human behaviour: contributions from twin and molecular genetic studies with Prof Yulia Kovas on Wednesday 9th October - doors open 5:45, talk starts at 6:30pm

This talk will review the latest advances in our understanding of individual differences in human behaviour. We will review results of twin studies, including from one of the most influential twin studies in the world - TEDS. The talk will also introduce the latest advances in molecular genetics and consider whether DNA can be used for warning, prediction, prevention and personalised interventions; and what ethical dilemmas it presents to societies.

Yulia Kovas is Professor of Genetics and Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London, where she directs InLab – International Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Investigations into Individual Differences in Learning. She leads several large scale studies that explore individual differences and the complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors in development. This research combines different methods (quantitative and molecular genetics; experimental psychology; neuroscience) with carefully selected samples, including twin samples; a longitudinal cohort of families with children conceived through IVF (recruited before conception); adolescents exhibiting extraordinary performance in the domains of science, music, art and sports; populations with different socio-demographic and educational environments. Yulia actively collaborates with research laboratories in the U.S., Canada, China, Indonesia, Japan, Russia, Kyrgyzia, and Europe. Yulia has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers, with almost 5000 citations; contributed chapters and co-edited volumes on genetics and genomics in education and child development. She is dedicated to public engagement, in particular to promoting greater understanding of the origins of individual differences. She co-founded TAGC – the Accessible Genetics Consortium that aims to promote greater knowledge and beneficial use of etiological information.