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Title: Investigating the relationship between emotion and cognition during adolescence : genes and behaviour
Author: Donati, Georgina
ISNI:       0000 0004 7967 8948
Awarding Body: Birkbeck, University of London
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Emotions provide the motivational aspect to conscious, goal-directed cognition. When they become disruptive, interfering with attainment or well-being, we rely on the ability to regulate them, facilitated by cognitive control. Exactly how emotion and cognition relate to each other is still unclear, particularly during adolescence, a time when structural and hormonal changes may accentuate the importance of their interactions. This thesis explores the relationship between emotion and cognition during adolescence using the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, a longitudinal population-based cohort. Chapter 3 characterises cognitive ability and emotional behaviour across adolescence, finding modest associations between constructs, the largest being between externalising and working memory. Using an independent adult sample, Chapter 4 finds emotional behaviours to be differently related to emotion regulation strategies, and, using an emotional variant of the N-back, that externalising again associates with working memory, and internalising with emotional distraction. Chapter 5 employs a longitudinal design to assess directional associations and finds that early adolescent externalising and internalising predict later adolescent working memory. Chapter 6 reports six genome-wide association studies evaluating genetic relationships between cognitive and emotion measures; phenotypic relations between working memory and externalising replicate genetically, but a contrasting relationship is found with internalising. Chapter 7 investigates whether these measures predict academic achievement and find working memory to be a robust predictor, while emotion measures explain small amounts of unique variance. Chapter 8 reports the first genome-wide association study of national standardised school assessments of English, maths and science attainment and finds strong genetic contributions to attainment from cognitive measures and differential relationships with emotion measures. Across studies cognitive and emotional behaviour measures emerged as independent and diverse, highlighting the importance of considering specific roles of cognitive and emotional processes in academic achievement and mental health, as well as investigating their unique genetic bases.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available