Psychiatric & Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit

The mission of PNGU is to identify and characterize the genetic basis of psychiatric, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders and to translate these discoveries to improvements in clinical care and public health.

 

NAME Laura Germine, PhD Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit
Center for Human Genetic Research
Massachusetts General Hospital
Richard B. Simches Research Center
185 Cambridge Street
Boston, MA 02114
Phone: 617-643-7094
Email: lgermine@gmail.com

Laura Germine is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School. Dr. Germine is also affiliated with the Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research at the Broad Institute and the Vision Sciences Laboratory at Harvard University.

Dr. Germine is interested in the genetic, environmental, and developmental factors that underlie variations in social cognition and social perception, and how these variations are related to psychiatric vulnerability.

Dr. Germine’s research seeks to answer the following questions:

  1. What genetic, environmental, and developmental factors cause variations in basic dimensions of social perception/cognition in healthy adults and clinical populations?
  2. What is the relationship between social perception/cognition and other domains of information processing in healthy adults, clinical populations, and across the lifespan?
  3. How do variations in social perception/cognition impact functional outcomes?

To address these questions, Dr. Germine takes advantage of the modern potential of citizen science and web-based methods. As Director of TestMyBrain.org, Dr. Germine and her colleagues have tested over 750,000 volunteers since 2008. Dr. Germine is using TestMyBrain to develop methods for high-throughput cognitive phenotyping that can be used in large-scale studies of genotype-phenotype associations.

Dr. Germine earned her B.A. in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. in Psychology from Harvard University where she was supported by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation.

Publications:

Germine, L., Benson, T., Cohen, F., and Hooker, C. (in press) Psychosis-proneness and illusions of body ownership. Psychiatry Research.

Wilmer, J., Germine, L., Chabris, C., Chatterjee, G., Gerbasi, M., and Nakayama, K. (in press) Isolating specific abilities as a window into human individuality: the example of face recognition. Cognitive Neuropsychology.

Germine, L., Nakayama, K., Duchaine, B., Chabris, C., Chatterjee, G., and Wilmer, J. (2012) Is the web as good as the lab? Comparable performance from web and lab in cognitive/perceptual experiments. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 19(5): 847-857.

Halberda, J., Ly, R., Wilmer, J., Naiman, D., and Germine, L. (2012) Number sense across the lifespan as revealed by a massive internet-based sample. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 109(28): 11116-11120.

Germine, L., Garrido, L., Bruce, L., and Hooker, C. (2011) Social anhedonia is associated with neural abnormalities during face emotion processing. Neuroimage, 58(3): 935-945.

Germine, L., Duchaine, B., and Nakayama, K. (2011) Where cognitive development and aging meet: Face learning ability peaks after age 30. Cognition, 118(2): 201-210.

Germine, L. and Hooker, C. (2011) Face emotion recognition is related to individual differences in psychosis-proneness. Psychological Medicine, 41(5): 937-948.

Germine, L., Cashdollar, N., Duzel, E., and Duchaine, B. (2011) A new selective developmental deficit: Impaired object recognition with normal face recognition. Cortex, 47: 598-607.

Wilmer, J., Germine, L., Loken, E., Guo, X., Chatterjee, G., Nakayama, K., Williams, M., Chabris, C., and Duchaine, B. (2010) Response to Thomas: Is human face recognition ability entirely genetic? Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(24): E101.

Wilmer, J., Germine, L., Chabris, C., Chatterjee, G., Williams., M., Loken, E., Nakayama, K., and Duchaine, B. (2010) Human face recognition ability is specific and highly heritable. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(11): 5238-5241.

Hooker, C., Verosky, S., Germine, L., Knight, R.T., and D'Esposito, M. (2010) Neural activity during social signal perception correlates with self-reported empathy. Brain Research, 1308: 100-113.

Duchaine, B., Jenkins, R., Germine, L., and Calder, A. (2009) Normal gaze discrimination and adaptation in seven prosopagnosics. Neuropsychologia, 47(10): 2029-2036.

Hooker, C., Verosky, S., Germine, L., Knight, R.T., and D'Esposito, M. (2008) Mentalizing about emotion and its relationship to empathy. Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience, 3: 204-217.

Duchaine, B., Germine L., & Nakayama, K. (2007). Family Resemblance: Ten Family Members with Prosopagnosia and Within-Class Object Agnosia. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 24: 419-430.

Hooker, C., Germine, L., Knight, R.T., and D'Esposito, M. (2006). Amygdala response to facial expressions reflects emotional learning. Journal of Neuroscience, 26(35): 8915-8922.

 

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