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Jacqueline Woolley, Chair The University of Texas at Austin, SEA 4.212, Austin, TX 78712 • (512) 475-7596

Jessica Church-Lang

Assistant Professor Ph.D., Washington University at St. Louis

Jessica Church-Lang

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Biography

Dr. Church-Lang received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis in 2008. She has a strong interest in how cognitive processes develop over age, and in how research on atypical development illuminates the vulnerable aspects of typical cognitive development. Research in the lab currently focuses on the development of cognitive skills such as task switching and reading in late childhood and early adolescence. Dr. Church-Lang is heading the neuroimaging arm of the Meadows and Vaughn Gross Center project on 4th grade reading intervention at UT Austin. We are interested in whether neuroimaging can reveal differences between struggling readers who respond to intervention and those who don't, as well as in exploring differences between struggling and non-struggling readers during sentence comprehension. We're particularly interested in how regions of the brain involved in attention relate to reading disorders.  As part of the reading-intervention project, as well as in other research efforts, we are exploring the development of short-duration, rapidly-adjusting adaptive control brain networks, how they might be different in typical and atypical development, and how they interact over age with the rest of the brain. To address these questions, we use behavioral methods such as cognitive tests (where we measure reaction times, accuracy on tasks, or eye movements), neuropsychological assessments, neuroimaging (fMRI, resting-state fcMRI), and studies of patient populations (e.g. children with Tourette syndrome or dyslexia).

Selected Representative Publications

Church JA, Balota DA, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Manipulation of length and lexicality localizes the functional neuroanatomy of phonological processing in adult readers. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 2011. 23(6): 1475-1493. 

Church JA, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. The Task B problem and other issues in developmental functional neuroimaging. Human Brain Mapping. 2010. 31(6): 852-862.

Church JA, Wenger KK, Dosenbach NU, Miezin FM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Task control signals in pediatric Tourette syndrome show evidence of immature and anomalous functional activity. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 2009. 3:38. 

Schlaggar BL, Church JA. 2009. Functional neuroimaging insights into the development of skilled reading. Curr Dir in Psych Sci 2009. 18(1): 21-26.   

Ihnen SK, Church JA, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Lack of generalizability of sex differences in the fMRI BOLD activity associated with language processing in adults. NeuroImage. 2009. 45(3): 1020-32. Epub 2008 Dec 30.

Church JA, Fair DA, Dosenbach NUF, Cohen AL, Miezin FM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. Control networks in pediatric Tourette Syndrome show immature and anomalous patterns of functional connectivity. Brain 2009. 132(1): 225-38. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

Church JA, Coalson RS, Lugar HM, Petersen SE, Schlaggar BL. A developmental fMRI study of reading and repetition reveals changes in phonological and visual mechanisms over age.Cerebral Cortex, 2008. 18(9): 2054-65.  Epub Jan 31

Interests

brain networks, development of task control, development of reading, developmental disorders, neuroimaging

PSY 394S • Stding Brain: Findgs Dev

42890 • Spring 2015
Meets M 900am-1200pm SEA 5.106
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Seminars in Developmental Psychology. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite: Graduate standing and consent of instructor.

 

PSY 339 • Behavior Problems Of Children

43700 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm NOA 1.126
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Adjustment difficulties during childhood and adolescence; causation and treatment. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: For psychology majors, upper-division standing and Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each; for nonmajors, upper-division standing, Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C, and one of the following with a grade of at least C: Biology 318M, Civil Engineering 311S, Economics 329, Educational Psychology 371, Electrical Engineering 351K, Government 350K, Mathematics 316, 362K, Mechanical Engineering 335, Psychology 317, Sociology 317L, Social Work 318, Statistics 309, Statistics and Scientific Computation 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 318.

PSY 304 • Intro To Child Psychology

43895 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am NOA 1.126
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General introduction to physical, social, and cognitive development from conception onward. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Psychology 304 and 333D may not both be counted. Prerequisite: Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C.

PSY 339 • Behavior Problems Of Children

43745 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm NOA 1.126
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Adjustment difficulties during childhood and adolescence; causation and treatment. Three lecture hours a week for one semester. Prerequisite: For psychology majors, upper-division standing and Psychology 301 and 418 with a grade of at least C in each; for nonmajors, upper-division standing, Psychology 301 with a grade of at least C, and one of the following with a grade of at least C: Biology 318M, Civil Engineering 311S, Economics 329, Educational Psychology 371, Electrical Engineering 351K, Government 350K, Mathematics 316, 362K, Mechanical Engineering 335, Psychology 317, Sociology 317L, Social Work 318, Statistics 309, Statistics and Scientific Computation 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 318.

PSY 304 • Intro To Child Psychology

43250 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm NOA 1.124
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This course is designed to introduce the field of Child Psychology and encourage students to think like a developmental psychologist. I think this is valuable for many reasons. First, at least 80% of you will become parents someday, and understanding how a child develops can give you insight and aid in effective parenting. Second, we were all children once, and learning about how a child grows to adulthood teached us about what it is to be human. Third, the media and popular opinion portrayals of parenting and of science are often far off the mark, and learning more about child development helps you to critically evaluate new information and claims. Finally, fourth, you will hopefully be able to apply the information from this course to both everyday life and the policies you endorse as a citizen.

PSY 304 • Intro To Child Psychology

43160 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 300pm-400pm NOA 1.124
show description

This course is designed to introduce the field of Child Psychology and encourage students to think like a developmental psychologist. I think this is valuable for many reasons. First, at least 80% of you will become parents someday, and understanding how a child develops can give you insight and aid in effective parenting. Second, we were all children once, and learning about how a child grows to adulthood teached us about what it is to be human. Third, the media and popular opinion portrayals of parenting and of science are often far off the mark, and learning more about child development helps you to critically evaluate new information and claims. Finally, fourth, you will hopefully be able to apply the information from this course to both everyday life and the policies you endorse as a citizen.

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