Social communication and interaction play an important role in later-life success, well-being, adjustment, and cognitive development, while severe impairments of these abilities are characteristic of many neurodevelopmental conditions. Our group studies the genetic architecture of social behaviour and social communication skills developmentally. In particular, we study (i) profiles of genetic overlap with neurodevelopmental conditions and neuropsychiatric disorders in collaboration with the University of Bristol, the Kings College London and (ii) carry out genome-wide analyses of developmental changes in social behaviour within the international EAGLE consortium.

Example publications

St Pourcain, B., Robinson, E. B., et al. (2018). ASD and schizophrenia show distinct developmental profiles in common genetic overlap with population-based social-communication difficulties. Molecular Psychiatry, 23: 263-270. doi:10.1038/mp.2016.198.

Schlag, F., Allegrini, A., Buitelaar, J., Verhoef, E., van Donkelaar, M., Plomin, R., Rimfeld, K., Fisher, S. E., St Pourcain B. (2022). Polygenic risk for mental disorder reveals distinct association profiles across social behaviour in the general population. Molecular Psychiatry. In press.

Developmental genetic architecture of social communication


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