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  Investigating the genetic and environmental basis of laterality


   Diamantina Institute

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  Prof David Evans  Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The aim of this PhD project is to investigate the genetic and environmental aetiology of behavioural and neurological manifestations of laterality. Specifically the project will involve:

(1) Performing a latent class analysis of measures of handedness, footedness and ocular dominance to characterize patterns of behavioural laterality and ambidexterity, and examine how genetic variants related to handedness and ambidexterity predict these latent classes

(2) Investigate the observational association between left-handedness, disease and increased risk of mortality using Mendelian randomization and other forms of instrumental variables analysis (i.e. a method of using natural “experiments” to obtain information on causality from observational data)

(3) Investigate the relationship between genetic variants related to handedness and manifestations of laterality in the brain using magnetic resonance imaging data

The successful candidate will gain experience across a wide range of advanced statistical genetics methodologies including latent class analysis, Mendelian randomization (a way of using genetic variants to investigate putatively causal relationships), genome-wide association analysis (GWAS), genetic restricted maximum likelihood (G-REML) analysis of genome-wide data which can be used to partition variation in phenotypes into genetic and environmental sources of variation, and instrumental variables analysis (using natural “experiments” to obtain information on causality from observational data).

Biological Sciences (4) Mathematics (25) Medicine (26) Psychology (31)

 About the Project