Gene-environment markers of wellbeing in healthy individuals and twins, focusing on measures of self-regulation

Proposal details

Title: Gene-environment markers of wellbeing in healthy individuals and twins, focusing on measures of self-regulation
Research Area(s): Emotion and Self Regulation
Background: This project forms the basis of Dr Gatt's APDI fellowship as part of the new ARC-linkage grant (Williams, Schofield, Clark, Gatt) on identifying gene and environment markers of emotional stability using the integration of genetics and cognitive and brain function data from BRID. It will integrate genetics data with environmental risk vs resilience data (early life stress, life stress, BMI, nutrition, exercise, sleep, drugs, general lifestyle) in the prediction of well-being as assessed by measures of self-regulation that include heart-rate variability, EEG asymmetry, grey matter loss, and social/general cognition measures.
Aims: 1. To identify genetic variants involved in modulation of monoamines(eg. BDNF, 5HT3A, 5HT2A, 5HT1A, 5HTT, COMT, MAOA, DRD4) that predict alterations in well-being. 2. To identify the environmental variables that accentuate or attentuate this risk. 3. To identify the moderating effects of gene-environment markers on mediating mechanisms of brain-body links to behavioural measures of well-being. 4. To identify effects on well-being, and genotypes that predict response, when self-regulation is optimised using brain games
Method: 1. Classify healthy subjects by their genotypes and compare them on markers of self-regulation using ANOVA and regression analyses. 2. Examine main and interacting effects of environment factors on markers of self-regulation using ANOVA and regression analyses. 3. Examine gene-envt-brain-body pathways to well-being using structural equation modelling, connectivity analysis and dynamic causal modeling. 4. Examine treatment response and effects on well-being in individuals given brain games to optimise self-regulation. 5. Validate the heritability of the self-regulation markers in MZ and DZ twins.