Member, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute (MCHRI)
Licenciado, Universidad De Monterrey (2010)
Diploma, Universidad De Barcelona (2013)
Doctor of Philosophy, Karolinska Institutet (2020)
Master of Science, Durham University (2015)
MSc, Durham University, Developmental Psychopathology (2014)
PhD, Karolinska Institutet, Neuroscience/Neuropsychiatry (2020)
Volitional eye movement control and ADHD traits: a twin study
JOURNAL OF CHILD PSYCHOLOGY AND PSYCHIATRY
2020; 61 (12): 1309–16
Top-down volitional command of eye movements may serve as a candidate endophenotype of ADHD, an important function underlying goal-directed action in everyday life. In this twin study, we examined the relation between performance on a response inhibition eye-tracking paradigm and parent-rated ADHD traits in a population-based twin sample. We hypothesized that altered eye movement control is associated with the severity of ADHD traits and that this association is attributable to genetic factors.A total of 640 twins (320 pairs, 50% monozygotic) aged 9-14 years) from the Child and Adolescent Twin Study in Sweden (CATSS) participated. Twins performed the antisaccade task indexing inhibitory alterations as either direction errors (following exogenous cues rather than instructions) or premature anticipatory eye movements (failure to wait for cues). We calculated the associations of eye movement control and ADHD traits using linear regression mixed-effects models and genetic and environmental influences with multivariate twin models.Premature anticipatory eye movements were positively associated with inattentive traits (β = .17; 95% CI: 0.04, 0.31), while controlling for hyperactive behaviors and other covariates. Both premature anticipatory eye movements and inattention were heritable (h2 = 0.40, 95% CI: 0.22, 0.56; h2 = 0.55; 95% CI: 0.42, 0.65; respectively), and their genetic correlation was small but statistically significant (r = .19, 95% CI: 0.02, 0.36). However, the genetic correlation did not remain significant after adjusting for covariates (age, sex, hyperactivity traits, IQ). No link was found between direction errors and ADHD traits.This study indicates that there is a specific, genetically influenced, relation between top-down eye movement control and the inattentive traits typical of ADHD.
View details for DOI 10.1111/jcpp.13210
View details for Web of Science ID 000511008500001
View details for PubMedID 32020616
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7754462
Visual disengagement in young infants in relation to age, sex, SES, developmental level and adaptive functioning.
Infant behavior & development
2021; 63: 101555
Visual attention plays a key role in infants' interaction with the environment, and shapes their behavioral and brain development. As such, early problems with flexibly switching gaze from one stimulus to another (visual disengagement) have been hypothesized to lead to developmental difficulties (e.g. joint attention and social skills) over time. This study aimed to identify cross-sectional associations between performance in the Gap task (gaze shift latencies and visual attention disengagement) and measures of development and adaptive behavior in conjunction to any sex or socioeconomic status effects in infancy. We measured visual attention disengagement in 436 5-month-old infants and calculated its association with cognitive developmental level, adaptive behaviours, socioeconomic status (SES) and biological sex. In the Gap task, participants must redirect their gaze from a central stimulus to an appearing peripheral stimulus. The three experimental conditions of the task (Gap, Baseline and Overlap) differ on the timepoint when the central stimuli disappears in relation to the appearance of the peripheral stimulus: 200 ms before the peripheral stimulus appears (Gap), simultaneously to its appearance (Baseline), or with peripheral stimulus offset (Overlap). The data from the experimental conditions showed the expected pattern, with average latencies being the shortest in the Gap and longest in the Overlap condition. Females were faster (p = .004) than males in the Gap condition, which could indicate that arousal-related effects differ as a function of biological sex. Infants from higher SES were slower (p = .031) in the Overlap condition compared to lower SES infants. This suggests that basic visual attention may differ by socio-cultural background, and should be considered when studying visual attention and its developmental correlates. We observed no significant association to concurrent developmental level or adaptive function. Given its large sample size, this study provides a useful reference for future studies of visual disengagement in early infancy.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.infbeh.2021.101555
View details for PubMedID 33799012
Visual Disengagement: Genetic Architecture and Relation to Autistic Traits in the General Population
JOURNAL OF AUTISM AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISORDERS
2020; 50 (6): 2188–2200
Visual disengagement has been hypothesized as an endophenotype for autism. In this study we used twin modelling to assess the role of genetics in basic measures of visual disengagement, and tested their putative association to autistic traits in the general population. We used the Gap Overlap task in a sample of 492 twins. Results showed that most of the covariance among eye movement latencies across conditions was shared and primarily genetic. Further, there were unique genetic contributions to the Gap condition, but not to the Overlap condition-i.e. the one theorized to capture visual disengagement. We found no phenotypic association between autistic traits and disengagement, thus not supporting the hypothesis of visual disengagement as an endophenotype for autistic traits.
View details for DOI 10.1007/s10803-019-03974-6
View details for Web of Science ID 000536416800026
View details for PubMedID 30859356
View details for PubMedCentralID PMC7261271