My Profile

Cathy Barr

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The focus of my research is the genetic study of behaviour, specific aspects of cognition, and psychiatric and neurological disorders for which a genetic predisposition has been established, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, childhood-onset anxiety disorders, childhood-onset depression, reading disabilities, and Tourette syndrome. Numerous studies have implicated an imbalance in the neurotransmitter systems or neurological development for these disorders. We are able to test specific candidate genes from these systems by screening these genes for DNA changes that may contribute to the genetic predisposition. We have identified a number of genes contributing to these disorders and molecular studies are in progress to understand the relationship of DNA variation in these genes to the development of the disorder. Our genetic studies originally focused on clinical samples but we have now extended our research to investigate relevant behavioural and cognitive phenotypes in the general population. For example, we are investigating cognitive markers (inhibition, working memory) associated with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as informative phenotypes for genetic studies using unaffected siblings, cognitive traits in general population samples (learning and memory, rapid automatized naming, a reading related skill), and population-based twin studies of behaviour and cognitive traits.

The language and culture of my heritage is passed on to me orally. it's a different way off learning than how I am taught at school. How do I keep my traditional culture alive while learning to read and being immersed in the majority culture?

Reading is the core of learning and staying in school . improving reading skills with young Aboriginal children can open up the doors to future prospects.

We're creating solutions
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