Associate Professor Justine M Gatt

TEAM LEADER PROFILE

Group Leader and Senior Research Scientist, NeuRA Associate Professor, Faculty of Science, School of Psychology, UNSW

+61 2 9399 1812


Associate Professor Justine Gatt is Lead Scientist of the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Group at Neuroscience Research Australia (NeuRA) and the School of Psychology at the University of New South Wales. She obtained her PhD in Psychology at the University of Sydney in December 2005 (conferred 2006). A/Prof Gatt currently leads several national and international projects in resilience and wellbeing. Her current projects include: (a) a longitudinal study of healthy adult twins from her TWIN-E Emotional Wellbeing Study followed after 10 and 12 years to determine changes in brain structure/function, neurocognitive performance and mental health outcomes over time that predict a risk versus resilience trajectory; (b) a project focusing on the impact of Instagram use on mental health and wellbeing in adolescents and young adults; (c) a project focusing on the impact of stuttering and its treatment on the wellbeing of children and their parents; (d) several clinical studies focusing on the impact of mental health treatment on wellbeing in youth and adults undergoing treatment; (e) the development of wellbeing programs in the workplace including healthcare workers; (f) online smartphone wellness technologies; and (g) wellbeing in children. A/Prof Gatt has been successful in obtaining several competitive research fellowships and grants, and has an outstanding track record in publication. Her work has been recognised by multiple awards including the Worldwide University Network (WUN) Success Story awarded to her WUN Resilience Research Group for ‘Exceptional Levels of Achievement’ (2019), the Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research (2014), and the NHMRC Excellence Award for Top Ranked CDF Applicant (2014). A/Prof Gatt also serves as an Editorial Member for several scientific journals.

Associate Professor Justine Gatt’s ‘Twin Study’ Featured on Nine News  

(Clip: Nine News)  

Projects Associate Professor Justine M Gatt is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

ReNeuWell®

 

 

ReNeuWell® is your home for neuroscience-based information and personalised positive psychology activities to guide you towards greater resilience and mental wellbeing.

What is ReNeuWell®?

Associate Professor Justine Gatt and her team from Neuroscience Research Australia and UNSW have developed a new resilience and wellbeing app called ReNeuWell® which provides a personalised solution to build resilience and promote mental wellbeing for adults in the general population. Each activity offers both educational content and practical advice to increase your wellbeing.

How does it work?

The ReNeuWell® app includes the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale, and provides a tailored four-week program of activities. Activities used in the ReNeuWell® app draw on evidence-based psychological concepts or approaches including mindfulness, meditation, coping with stress, self-compassion, acts of kindness, gratitude diaries, positive event scheduling, and goal-setting.

Who is it for?

ReNeuWell® is designed for the average healthy adult looking for ways to understand and boost their own wellbeing.

ReNeuWell® is suitable for anyone who:

  • has an iPhone
  • is aged 18 years or over
  • can understand written English
  • is not currently experiencing moderate to severe mental illness symptoms

ReNeuWell® is designed to boost wellbeing and resilience to stress. It is not designed to treat mental illness symptoms, so if you are currently experiencing these symptoms, we encourage you to consult a mental health specialist and seek treatment before using the ReNeuWell® app. For anyone who is currently experiencing severe distress and needs immediate support, please contact one of the mental health support services listed here.

What is the time commitment?

ReNeuWell® is designed to be used for around 10 minutes a day for at least four weeks. Every four weeks, the app will re-measure your wellbeing and offer you daily activities to build on your progress for as long as you wish. Evidence generally suggests that the benefits of using these kinds of techniques increase over time as it takes a while for new habits to be developed.

What is the science behind it?

The ReNeuWell® app is based on over eight years of neuroscience research and promotes resilience and mental wellbeing for the 60% of the population who may not necessarily meet criteria for mental illness diagnosis but may nonetheless be looking for self-help options to boost their own wellbeing. Furthermore, the ReNeuWell® team has received approval to conduct its own clinical trial of the app, and this study is currently open to volunteers (more information below).

Can I participate in the clinical trial?

The ReNeuWell® team is committed to gathering the best scientific evidence on the app and its effectiveness. We will soon run a clinical trial (approved by the University of New South Wales) to test two versions of the app and see which one is more effective for increasing your wellbeing. If you meet the eligibility criteria and wish to participate, when the app becomes available, you can download it and then choose to express your interest and enrol in the trial if you meet eligibility criteria. You will then receive the app for free for 12 weeks. For more information, including the Participant Information Statement and Consent Form, click here.

How is my privacy protected?

The privacy of ReNeuWell® users and their data is our top priority. Any information you provide will remain confidential and securely stored.

For the full Terms and Conditions of using the app, click here.

For the full NeuRA Privacy Policy, click here: https://www.neura.edu.au/privacy/

What does the app cost?

The app will be available for purchase for a one-time payment fee. If you participate in the clinical trial, you will receive the app for free for 12 weeks, and after that, you can choose whether or not to purchase the app and continue using it.

Where can I download ReNeuWell®?

Once the app is launched, you will be able to download ReNeuWell® from the App Store.

After downloading the app, you will have the option of purchasing it upfront, or enrolling in the clinical trial and using the app for free during the trial period.

If you would like to be notified when the app is launched, please send us your details using the form below, and we will be in touch shortly.

We hope to offer an Android version of ReNeuWell® soon. If you have an Android phone and are interested in the app, join our waiting list and you will be notified as soon as an Android version is available.

Fields marked with an * are required

Funding and partners

ReNeuWell® has been made possible with funding support from:

Mindgardens Neuroscience Network

ReNeuWell® was developed in collaboration with:

Miroma Project Factory

We would also like to acknowledge the involvement of:

University of New South Wales
Neuroscience Research Australia

Further questions

If you have any further questions about ReNeuWell® or the research project, please email us at: reneuwell@neura.edu.au.

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ReNeuWell®

The COMPAS-KIDS and COMPAS-PARENTS wellbeing scales: Measuring wellbeing in children and their paren

 

 

 

 

It is important to maintain and boost our mental health and wellbeing right from the beginning, starting in early childhood. The Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Group have created a wellbeing scale for adults called the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale, and have now created a version for children aged 5 to 12 years of age called COMPAS-KIDS. The reliability of this new scale will be validated with parent reports of their children using the COMPAS-PARENTS wellbeing scale.

These scales are currently being tested and validated in the general community via social media outlets and via direct invitation to families who visit community health clinics across the South West Local Health Districts. The study is open to children aged 5 to 12 years and their parents eligible and willing to participate in the study. Each participant is assessed on two occasions over the duration of their involvement in the study, and each assessment includes the COMPAS scales, plus other mental health measures at baseline and 1-month follow-up. Upon validation, the scale will be used to understand the predictors of wellbeing and resilience throughout development.

For more information about the study, please go to: https://www.neura.edu.au/project/the-compas-kids-wellbeing-study/

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Ms Janine Lam (PhD student) from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Group at NeuRA. The clinical team supporting recruitment at the community clinics includes A/Prof Shanti Raman (Director, Community Paediatrics, Liverpool Hospital), Kate Short (Senior Speech Pathologist, Liverpool Hospital), Prof Valsamma Eapen (Chair, Infant Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, UNSW), and Dr Antonio Mendoza Diaz (Senior Research Officer, UNSW, SWSLHD).

Related publications:

Data collection in progress.

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The COMPAS-KIDS and COMPAS-PARENTS wellbeing scales: Measuring wellbeing in children and their parents

Thrive: A wellbeing program for healthcare workers

 

 

 

 

 

Healthcare workers frequently report higher levels of occupational stress and lower levels of mental wellbeing relative to people in some other professions, and the COVID-19 pandemic has placed additional burdens on this population.

In response, the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA has partnered with the Nursing Education Workforce Research (NEWR) unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH) in Sydney, to create and deliver a new program – the “Thrive” program – for healthcare staff who wish to improve their mental health.

The Thrive program is based on the neuroscience of brain health and mental wellbeing, and provides educational resources on how to develop healthy habits across seven areas of life. It is currently the subject of a randomised controlled trial that aims to measure whether the wellbeing of Thrive participants increases as a result of the program.

To date, the Thrive program has been offered to all staff at POWH, and it will soon be expanded to include all healthcare workers within the SESLHD.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Dr Luke Egan from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA, and Karen Tuqiri and Mary Mulcahy from the Nursing Education Workforce Research (NEWR) unit at the Prince of Wales Hospital (POWH). Funding for the trial was provided by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the National Health and Medical Research Council. This trial was prospectively registered with the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry and ethically approved by the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (SESLHD).

Related publications:

Egan L, Mulcahy M, Tuqiri K, Gatt JM. (2022). The Thrive online wellbeing program for healthcare workers: Protocol for a randomised controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 11(4): e34005. http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/34005

Data analysis in progress.

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Thrive: A wellbeing program for healthcare workers

The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in mental health inpatients

 

 

 

 

Mental health has typically been defined as an absence of symptoms alone, however it is increasingly being recognised that mental health includes an absence of symptoms but also the presence of wellbeing. Wellbeing encompasses our levels of happiness, life satisfaction and the feeling of living a meaningful life.

At the Prince of Wales Hospital in Sydney, the Mental Health Rehabilitation Unit (MHRU) provides treatment for in-patients dealing with various mental health conditions.

The Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA is interested in understanding whether their measure of wellbeing, called the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale, is sensitive in response to treatment also. To understand this, the Gatt Lab at NeuRA is conducting a longitudinal study to measure MHRU inpatients’ wellbeing with a monthly survey until discharge. This survey includes the COMPAS-W scale, a comprehensive measure of wellbeing that has been validated in past research on other populations.

This longitudinal study will help us understand the importance of wellbeing in mental health recovery, and help identify domains of wellbeing wherein its patients might require additional support or attention.

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Dr Luke Egan from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA, and the MHRU Unit management at POWH. Funding for the study was provided by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Related publications:

Data collection in progress.

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The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in mental health inpatients

The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in headspace clients

 

 

 

 

 

Many young people in Australia require mental health treatment, and the Australian government funds the headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation to provide early intervention services for clients aged 12 to 25. Those with a Mental Health Treatment Plan can access a course of 10 therapy sessions with a clinical psychologist at headspace, and this therapy is expected to improve the clients’ mental health symptoms.

The Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA is interested in understanding whether their measure of wellbeing, called the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale, is sensitive in response to treatment also. To understand this, the team is running a longitudinal study to measure headspace clients’ wellbeing from the beginning to the end of their 10-session course at headspace. This study is open to clients aged 16 to 25 at the Bondi Junction headspace centre who are currently experiencing mild to moderate symptoms of mental illness (e.g., depression, anxiety).

Each participant is assessed on four occasions over the duration of their involvement in the study, and each assessment includes the COMPAS-W scale, a comprehensive measure of wellbeing that has been validated in past research on other populations. This study will widen the scope of mental health research to include a population whose wellbeing has been deserving of greater attention: young people receiving mental health treatment. And hopefully, the study will highlight any domains of wellbeing in which headspace clients may need additional support or resources post-recovery.

Team members and Funding:

Investigators on the project include A/Prof Justine Gatt (Lead) and Dr Luke Egan from the Gatt Wellbeing & Resilience Lab at NeuRA, headspace management at Bondi Junction, and Prof Julia Lappin (Psychiatrist, UNSW). Funding for the study was provided by the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network and the National Health and Medical Research Council.

Related publications:

Data collection in progress.

 

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The COMPAS-W scale: Measuring wellbeing in headspace clients

Functional magnetic resonance imaging correlates of wellbeing and resilience in healthy twins

Every aspect of our lives influences our state of wellbeing and in turn, our wellbeing greatly affects our lives and long-term health. Several studies have shown that wellbeing predicts increased longevity and healthy aging, resistance to infection, reduced risk for illness and mortality, personal growth and even learning. More recently, mental wellbeing has been positively associated with sustained attention, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, motor coordination and working memory. Additionally, major mental illnesses are usually associated with emotional and cognitive dysfunction, and neural networks involved in threat, reward, attention and cognitive control underscore some of the main processes of emotional and cognitive function. These networks are therefore likely to be central to mental wellbeing and resilience to stress. Although the link between wellbeing and health has been fairly well documented, knowledge of the neural mechanisms that underpin wellbeing and resilience are still lacking. Investigating the neuroscience of wellbeing is crucial to capture and promote mental and physical health in the general population.

 

Using the functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technique, the main objectives of this project are:

(1). To understand how the neural networks and autonomic responses that underpin emotional responses (e.g., to threat and reward) and cognitive control (e.g., working memory and inhibition) are associated with varying levels of wellbeing, resilience, emotional health status and other life outcomes;

(2). Whether change in neural networks predict change in wellbeing and resilience over time (longitudinal component); and

(3). To investigate how different genetic and environment factors may modulate these neural networks.

 

This PhD project will extend our understanding of wellbeing and its relationship with emotional processes and cognitive function. The results from this project will be valuable and robust as it will be based on a large sample of 270 twin participants scanned over time. Research on wellbeing and resilience has major implications for mental and physical health on the general population, and we hope that this project will greatly contribute to the advancement of mental health research.

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Functional magnetic resonance imaging correlates of wellbeing and resilience in healthy twins

Exploring the electrophysiology and heritability of wellbeing and resilience

The majority of adults without a mental illness still experience poor mental health, indicating a need for a better understanding of what separates mental wellness from mental illness. One way of exploring what separates those with good mental health from those with poor mental health is to use electroencephalography (EEG) to explore differences in brain activity within the healthy population. Previous research has shown that EEG measures differ between clinical groups and healthy participants, suggesting that these measures are useful indicators of mental functioning.

Miranda Chilver’s current project aims to examine how different EEG measures relate to each other and to test if they can be used to predict mental wellbeing. Furthermore, she hopes to distinguish between EEG markers of symptoms including depression and anxiety, and markers of positive symptoms of wellbeing to better understand how wellbeing can exist independently of mental illness. This will be done by obtaining measures of wellbeing and depression and anxiety symptoms using the COMPAS-W and DASS-42 questionnaires, respectively.

Because EEG measures and mental wellbeing are both impacted by genetics as well as the environment, Miranda will also be testing whether the links found between EEG activity and Wellbeing are driven primarily by heritable or by environmental factors. This information will inform the development of future interventions that will aim to improve wellbeing in the general population.

To achieve these goals, the project will assess the relationship between EEG activity and wellbeing, and between EEG and depression and anxiety symptoms to first test whether there is an association between EEG and mental health. Second, the heritability of the EEG, wellbeing, depression, and anxiety will be assessed to determine the extent to which these variables are explained through heritable or environmental factors. Finally, a model assessing the overlap between the heritable versus environmental contributions to each measure will be developed to assess whether genetics or environment drive the relationship between EEG and mental health.

This project is based on a sample of over 400 healthy adult twins from the Australian TWIN-E study of resilience led by Dr Justine Gatt. This research will pave the way for improved mental health interventions based on individual needs.

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Exploring the electrophysiology and heritability of wellbeing and resilience

Stuttering and its impact on wellbeing in children and their caregivers

Dr Gatt is co-leading a project with speech pathologist Verity MacMillan that focuses on stuttering and its impact on wellbeing in children and their caregivers. The mental health and wellbeing of children who stutter and their caregivers will be evaluated pre-treatment, mid-treatment and post-treatment to evaluate changes in response to stuttering treatment. We will determine the impact that stuttering has on mental wellbeing from the outset, as well as the factors that determine an optimal and faster treatment response.

The investigators on this project include Verity MacMillan (SWSLHD) and Justine Gatt as Co-Leads (NeuRA and UNSW, Australia), and Stacey Sheedy (SWSLHD), Wendy Lloyd (SWSLHD) and Haeme Park (NeuRA and UNSW, Australia) as co-investigators.

This project is currently supported by a SWSLHD Clinical Knowledge Exchange Seed Funding Initiative.

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Stuttering and its impact on wellbeing in children and their caregivers

Instagram usage and mental wellbeing in adolescents and young adults

Dr Gatt is leading a project that focuses on observing the impact of Instagram usage on mental health and wellbeing in adolescents and young adults in Australia and the USA. Participants will be compared at multiple time points over a 6-month period in order to compare non-linear patterns over time. This project will determine the positive and negative impact of Instagram use on mental health and wellbeing over time, how it varies according to various factors such as age, gender and country of origin, as well as the factors that might modulate its impact such as usage patterns, life events and connectedness.

The investigators on this project include Dr Justine Gatt as CIA and Dr Haeme Park as CIB (NeuRA and UNSW, Australia). Collaborative organisations involved in this project include the Qualtrics Research Team.

This project is currently supported by an Instagram Wellbeing Research Grant.

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Instagram usage and mental wellbeing in adolescents and young adults

Measuring and promoting wellbeing in different mental health settings

Dr Gatt is leading a project that aims to confirm the utility of measuring wellbeing in various mental health settings, and to develop wellbeing programs using different platforms. Dr Justine Gatt has developed the composite wellbeing scale, COMPAS-W, which measures both subjective wellbeing (hedonia) and psychological wellbeing (eudaimonia). This project will test the practicality and value of measuring mental wellbeing using the COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale in multiple settings including hospital in-patients, hospital staff, and out-patients visiting mental health clinics. This project will also develop and/or evaluate wellbeing-focused interventions including workplace wellbeing group programs and an online smartphone wellbeing app.

Dr Justine Gatt is the Lead Investigator on this project. Collaborating organisations and supporting partners include SESLHD area health service, Prince of Wales Hospital, headspace and Project Factory.

This project is currently supported by a Mindgardens Neuroscience Network Grant.

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Measuring and promoting wellbeing in different mental health settings

Testing the efficacy of online interventions to improve student mental health and wellbeing

Previous reports indicate that online interventions have the potential to improve mental wellbeing in the general population. However, most of these studies have focused on reducing mental illness symptoms such as depression and anxiety without focusing on improvements in positive measures of mental health such as those measured by Dr Justine Gatt’s COMPAS-W measure of wellbeing. It is important to confirm whether online interventions can promote positive aspects of mental health while also reducing negative symptoms in the student population as this would suggest improvements in mental resilience.

Furthermore, examining changes in mental wellbeing over time and how it relates to electroencephalography (EEG) activity over time can help clarify whether previously found associations between EEG and wellbeing are causative in nature.

Thus, this project has two key aims:

  • Identify an effective online intervention for improving student mental health during semester.
  • Test whether changes in mental wellbeing over time result in changes in student electroencephalography (EEG) profiles.

This project will help the development of more effective and targeted wellbeing interventions that can be delivered on large scales while simultaneously improving the theoretical understanding of the associations between EEG activity and mental wellbeing.

Publications
Chilver MR and Gatt JM. (2021). Six-week online multi-component positive psychology intervention improves subjective wellbeing in young adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, Sep 5, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00449-3

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Testing the efficacy of online interventions to improve student mental health and wellbeing

Longitudinal neural trajectories of vulnerability versus resilience in adult twins over 10 years (2019-)

Dr Gatt is leading a project that focuses on identifying the longitudinal neural trajectories of vulnerability versus resilience in adult twins. This project involves a 10-year and 12-year follow-up of our adult twin cohort who previously participated in our TWIN-E StudyChanges in mental health outcomes since baseline will be evaluated over multiple time points to characterise different profiles of risk versus resilience over time. We will then evaluate the parallel changes in neurocognitive performance and brain structure and function that correspond to these risk and resilience profiles. By comparing identical to non-identical twins, we will determine the role of genetics and environment in these pathways over time.

Team Members & Collaborators

The investigators on this project include Dr Justine Gatt as CIA (NeuRA and UNSW, Australia), Dr Robin Turner as CIB (University of Otago, New Zealand) and Professor Leanne Williams as CIC (Stanford University, USA). The postdoctoral fellow on this project is Dr Haeme Park, and the PhD students involved in this project include: Miranda Chilver (PhD), Javad Jamshidi (Scientia PhD), and Arthur Montalto (PhD). The twin participants to be recruited for this project will be drawn from the Twins Research Australia (TRA) twin registry (https://www.twins.org.au/).

Grant Funding

This project is currently supported by a NHMRC Project Grant (APP1122816, 2017-2021).

Key Outcomes & Publications

Recruitment for this project is underway.

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Longitudinal neural trajectories of vulnerability versus resilience in adult twins over 10 years (2019-)

Genetics and neuroscience of resilience and wellbeing (2014-)

Mental health and wellbeing is not simply the absence of mental illness, yet we know very little about its underlying neural and genetic mechanisms in relative comparison. Similarly, we know very little about the underlying mechanisms that contribute towards resilience to stress and adversity. This project led by Dr Justine Gatt aims to identify the genetics and neuroscience of resilience and wellbeing in a prospective cohort of 1,600 healthy adult twins.

Team Members & Collaborators

Dr Justine Gatt is leading this project as NHMRC CDF Research Fellow. Additional investigators on this project include Prof Peter Schofield (NeuRA and UNSW, Australia) and Prof Leanne Williams (Stanford University, USA). The PhD and graduate students involved in this project include: Kylie Routledge (PhD, completed), Rebecca Alexander (PhD), Sandy Wong (ILP, 2018), Miranda Chilver (PhD), Javad Jamshidi (Scientia PhD), and Arthur Montalto (PhD). Research Assistants involved in this project include: Sicong Tu (2016), Emily Crocetti (volunteer RA from Dartmouth USA, 2018). The twin participants for this project were drawn from the Twins Research Australia (TRA) twin registry (https://www.twins.org.au/).

Grant Funding

This project is supported by a NHMRC Career Development Fellowship awarded to Dr Justine Gatt (APP1062495, 2014-2017), a Commonwealth Health Minister’s Award for Excellence in Health and Medical Research awarded to Dr Justine Gatt ($50,000, 2014-2017), and PhD Scholarships awarded to each PhD student.

Key Outcomes & Publications

One key outcome from this project is the development of the 26-item COMPAS-W Wellbeing Scale (Gatt et al., 2014, Psychiatry Research). What differentiates this wellbeing scale from many others is that it provides a “composite” measure of wellbeing; that is, a measure of both subjective (hedonia) and psychological (eudaimonia) wellbeing. The COMPAS-W scale can be used to calculate total wellbeing, as well as subscale measures of composure, own-worth, mastery, positivity, achievement and satisfaction. Twin modelling was conducted on the scale and heritability (genetic variability) was confirmed to be 48%. Subsequent papers used the COMPAS-W scale to establish novel neurobiological mechanisms of wellbeing and resilience in different samples.

(1) Book chapters and reviews:

Alexander, R., Aragon, O.R., Bookwala, J., Cherbuin, N., Gatt, J.M., Kahrilas, I.J., Kästner, N., Lawrence, A., Lowe, L., Morrison, R.G., Mueller, S.C., Nusslock, R., Papadelis, C., Polnaszek, K.L., Richter, S.H., Silton, R.L., & Styliadis, C. (2021). The neuroscience of positive emotions and affect: Implications for cultivating happiness and wellbeing. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 121, 220-249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.12.002

Gatt JM (2020). The neuroscience of wellbeing: Part 1, Chapter 37. In: Cohen L. Ed. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, p. 325-330. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119057840.ch37

Gatt JM (2020). The neuroscience of wellbeing: Part 2, Chapter 41. In: Cohen L. Ed. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Health Psychology. Chichester, West Sussex: John Wiley & Sons Ltd, p. 361-372. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781119057840.ch41

Alexander R and Gatt JM (2019). Resilience, Chapter 20. In: Miu AC, Homberg JR, Lesch K-P. Eds. Genes, Brain and Emotions: Interdisciplinary and Translational Perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 286-303. ISBN: 9780198793014.

(2) Research papers and protocols:

Egan L, Mulcahy M, Tuqiri K, Gatt JM. (2022). The Thrive online wellbeing program for healthcare workers: Protocol for a
randomised controlled trial. JMIR Research Protocols, 11(4): e34005. http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/34005

Jamshidi J, Schofield PR, Gatt JM*, Fullerton JM* (*equal senior authors). (2022). Phenotypic and genetic analysis of a
wellbeing factor score in the UK Biobank and the impact of childhood maltreatment and psychiatric illness. Translational
Psychiatry, 12, 113. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-01874-5

Park HRP, Quide Y, Schofield PR, Williams LM, Gatt JM. (2022). Grey matter covariation and the role of emotion reappraisal in mental wellbeing and resilience after early life stress exposure. Translational Psychiatry, 12, 85. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41398-022-01849-6

Montalto A, Park HRP, Williams LM, Korgaonkar MS, Chilver MR, Jamshidi J, Schofield PR, Gatt JM. (2022). Negative association
between anterior insula activation and resilience during sustained attention: an fMRI twin study. Psychological
Medicine. pp 1-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0033291721005262

Chilver MR, Park HRP, Schofield PR, Clark CR, Williams LM, Gatt JM. (2022). Emotional face processing correlates with
depression/anxiety symptoms but not wellbeing in non-clinical adults: An event-related potential study. Journal
of Psychiatric Research, 145, 18-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2021.11.038

Boyes A, McLoughlin LT, Anderson H, Schwenn P, Shan Z, Gatt JM, Lagopoulos J, Hermens DF. (2022). Basal ganglia correlates of wellbeing in early adolescence. Brain Research, 1774, pp 147710. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2021.147710

Chilver MR and Gatt JM. (2021). Six-week online multi-component positive psychology intervention improves subjective wellbeing in young adults. Journal of Happiness Studies, Sep 5, 1-22. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-021-00449-3

Gatt JM, Burton KLO, Schofield PR, Bryant RA, Williams LM. (2021). Corrigendum to ‘The heritability of mental health and wellbeing defined using COMPAS-W, a new composite measure of wellbeing’: Psychiatry Research, 219 (2014), 204-213. Psychiatry Research, 304. 114141. Accepted 24th July 2021. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2021.114141

Park HRP, Chilver MR, Montalto A, Jamshidi J, Schofield PR, Williams LM, Gatt JM. (2021). Associations between mental wellbeing and fMRI neural bases underlying responses to positive emotion in a twin sample. Psychological Medicine, 1-9. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0033291721002695

Cheng P, Park HRP, Gatt JM (2021). Approach coping mitigates psychological distress of COVID-19 isolation for young men with low wellbeing in a sample of 1749 youth from Australia and the USA. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 12, 634925. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2021.634925

Routledge KM, Williams LM, Harris AWF, Schofield PR, Gatt JM. (2021). The impact of online brain training exercises on experiences of depression, anxiety and emotional wellbeing in a twin sample. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 134, 138-149. https://authors.elsevier.com/sd/article/S0022-3956(20)31162-6

Jamshidi J, Williams LM, Schofield PR, Park H, Montalto A, Chilver M, Bryant R, Toma C, Fullerton J, Gatt JM. (2020). Diverse phenotypic measurements of wellbeing: Heritability, temporal stability, and the variance explained by polygenic scores. Genes, Brain and Behavior, 19 (8), e12694. https://doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12694

Chilver MR, Keller AS, Park H, Jamshidi J, Montalto A, Schofield PR, Clark CR, Harmon-Jones E, Williams LM, Gatt JM. (2020). Electroencephalography profiles as a biomarker of wellbeing: A twin study. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 126: 114-121. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpsychires.2020.04.010

Gatt JM, Alexander R, Emond A, Foster K, Hadfield K, Mason-Jones A, Reid S, Theron L, Ungar M, Wouldes T, Wu Q. (2020). Trauma, resilience and mental health in migrant and non-migrant youth: An international cross-sectional study across six countries. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 10, Article 997. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00997

Wu Q, Ge T, Emond A, Foster K, Gatt JM, Hadfield K, Mason-Jones A, Reid S, Theron L, Ungar M, Wouldes T. (2018). Acculturation, resilience and the mental health of migrant youth: A cross-country comparative study. Public Health, 162, 63-70. 10.1016/j.puhe.2018.05.006

Hadfield K, Ungar M, Emond A, Foster K, Gatt JM, Mason-Jones A, Reid S, Theron L, Wouldes T, Wu Q. (2018). Challenges of developing and conducting an international study of resilience in migrant adolescents. International Social Work, 63 (2), 232-237. doi.org/10.1177/0020872818796147.

Gatt JM, Burton KLO, Routledge KM, Grasby KL, Korgaonkar MS, Grieve SM, Schofield PR, Harris AWF, Clark CR, Williams LM. (2018). A negative association between brainstem pontine gray matter volume, wellbeing and resilience in healthy twins. Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience, Jun 20; 43(6): 386-395. https://doi.org/doi: 10.1503/jpn.170125

Routledge KM, Williams LM, Harris AWF, Schofield PR, Clark CR, Gatt JM. (2018). Genetic correlations between wellbeing, depression and anxiety symptoms and behavioral responses to the emotional faces task in healthy twins. Psychiatry Research, 264, 385-393.

Routledge KM, Burton KLO, Williams LM, Harris A, Schofield PR, Clark CR, Gatt JM. (2017). The shared and unique genetic relationship between mental wellbeing, depression and anxiety symptoms and cognitive function in healthy twins. Cognition and Emotion, 31(7), 1465-1479.

Routledge KM, Burton KLO, Williams LM, Harris A, Schofield PR, Clark CR, Gatt JM. (2016). Shared versus distinct genetic contributions of mental wellbeing with depression and anxiety symptoms in healthy twins. Psychiatry Research, 244, 65-70.

Gatt JM, Burton KLO, Williams LM, Schofield PR. (2015). Specific and common genes implicated across major mental disorders: A review of meta-analysis studies. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 60, 1-13.

Gatt JM, Burton KLO, Schofield PR, Bryant RA, Williams LM. (2014). The heritability of mental health and wellbeing defined using COMPAS-W, a new composite measure of wellbeing. Psychiatry Research, 219 (1), 204-213. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psychres.2014.04.033

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Genetics and neuroscience of resilience and wellbeing (2014-)

The WUN international youth resilience study (2014-)

Understanding youth resilience and ways to promote it across different cultural groups

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The WUN international youth resilience study (2014-)

E-health industry partnership studies (2011-)

In collaboration with various industry partners, our team has investigated the efficacy of different e-health measurement tools and interventions that aim to either measure or promote improved mental health.

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E-health industry partnership studies (2011-)

Heritability of brain functioning across resting, emotional and cognitive tasks in the TWIN-E Study (2009-)

The TWIN-E Emotional Wellbeing study is a large prospective study of over 1,600 monozygotic (MZ) and dizygotic (DZ) adult twins from Twins Research Australia (Gatt et al., 2012, Twin Res Hum Gen).

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Heritability of brain functioning across resting, emotional and cognitive tasks in the TWIN-E Study (2009-)

Role of genetics and stressful trauma in anxiety and depression in various participant groups from the BRID (Brain Resource International Database) (2006-)

Using various cognitive, psychological and neuroimaging measures, they have investigated the role of several genes known to be involved in brain disorders.

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Role of genetics and stressful trauma in anxiety and depression in various participant groups from the BRID (Brain Resource International Database) (2006-)

The role of reward in the neurogenetics of resilience

Identifying the precise role of reward in the resilience process; in particular the role of reward sensitivity and different paradigms of measurement in young adults.

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The role of reward in the neurogenetics of resilience

Genes and wellbeing; how are they connected?

Despite numerous research into the genetics of psychiatric disorders, investigations regarding the molecular genetics of wellbeing and resilience and in general healthy functioning using new technologies and methods are still scarce. There is very little known about the genetic factors influencing our wellbeing and resilience. Only a few recent genome wide association studies successfully detected a number of genetic variants influencing wellbeing. However, these variants are only responsible for a very small proportion of wellbeing heritability and much more are still waiting to be discovered.

My research area is focused on understanding the role of genetics and environment in mental wellbeing and resilience; in particular, the role of genetic and epigenetic factors and how they interact with each other and the environment in predicting mental health.

We have at our disposal an amazing population of 1600 twins with psychological data including mental health and wellbeing questionnaires, including personality questionnaires and a specific composite wellbeing questionnaire developed by the Gatt group called COMPAS-W.  These twins also underwent a genetic analysis using PsychArray and their genotyping data is available. In addition, a portion of these twins have EEG and neuroimaging data (MRI, fMRI, DTI), which will allow us to further investigate the effect of genetic markers on these variables and how they interact to yield the end phenotype.

We have three main questions to answer in this project:

First, do genetic variations influence wellbeing in our twin cohort? Which genes? How and to what extent?

Second, do genetic variations influence the neurobiological markers measured by EEG, MRI, fMRI and DTI in the twin population?

Third, is there any connection or correlation between the genetic markers which influence wellbeing and those which influence the neurobiological markers? How much of these phenotypes are genetically correlated?

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Genes and wellbeing; how are they connected?

ANXIETY SYMPTOMS: WHAT NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE SUFFERING FROM ANXIETY

GENES, BRAIN, AND EMOTIONS (2019)

UNSW PSYCHOLOGY PROFILE

UNSW RESEARCH PROFILE

NEURATALKS – MENTAL HEALTH WEEK 2017

RESILIENCE TIPS

HOW TO BOUNCE BACK – ARTICLE FOR PREVENTION MAGAZINE

IS OUR WELLBEING GENETIC? – BLOG FOR WYZA

RESEARCH TEAM

PUBLICATIONS

Electroencephalography profiles as a biomarker of wellbeing: A twin study.

Chilver MR, Keller AS, Park HRP, Jamshidi J, Montalto A, Schofield PR, Clark CR, Harmon-Jones E, Williams LM, Gatt JM

Trauma, Resilience, and Mental Health in Migrant and Non-Migrant Youth: An International Cross-Sectional Study Across Six Countries.

Gatt JM, Alexander R, Emond A, Foster K, Hadfield K, Mason-Jones A, Reid S, Theron L, Ungar M, Wouldes TA, Wu Q

Corrigendum to "Failure to differentiate between threat-related and positive emotion cues in healthy adults with childhood interpersonal or adult trauma" [J. Psychiatr. Res. 78 (2016) 31-41].

Chu DA, Bryant RA, Gatt JM, Harris AWF
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