Jessica Church-Lang, PhD

Assistant Professor

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Personal profile


Jessica Church-Lang grew up in Mount Pleasant, Michigan and earned a B.A. at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. She earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, in 2008. She is an assistant professor in Dell Med's Department of Psychiatry and in the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts. She has a strong interest in how cognitive processes develop over age, and in how research on atypical development illuminates the vulnerable aspects of cognitive development pathways. Research in the lab currently focuses on the development of executive functions and reading in late childhood and early adolescence.

Church-Lang is head of the Austin neuroimaging site of the Texas Learning Disabilities Research Center project on reading intervention and brain change ( That project is particularly focused on how networks of the brain involved in task control relate to academic skill development and skill improvement over time. As part of the reading-intervention project, as well as in the lab's other research efforts in children with attention and learning disorders, researchers are focusing on brain and behavioral changes over two time periods: over the course of an intervention and over the course of early puberty. To address these questions, Church-Lang's lab uses behavioral methods such as cognitive tests (where they measure response times, accuracy on tasks, or eye movements), actigraphy (where they measure activity levels during sleep and wake), pubertal hormone assessments, neuropsychological assessments, neuroimaging (fMRI, resting-state fcMRI), and studies of patient populations (e.g. children with Tourette syndrome, ADHD, or dyslexia).

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics where Jessica Church-Lang is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • 17 Similar Profiles
Tourette Syndrome Medicine & Life Sciences
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Medicine & Life Sciences
Brain Medicine & Life Sciences
Reading Medicine & Life Sciences
Executive Function Medicine & Life Sciences
Parietal Lobe Medicine & Life Sciences
Pediatrics Medicine & Life Sciences
Neuroimaging Medicine & Life Sciences

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Research Output 2005 2020

1 Citation (Scopus)

Atypical Functional Connectivity in Tourette Syndrome Differs Between Children and Adults

Nielsen, A. N., Gratton, C., Church, J. A., Dosenbach, N. U. F., Black, K. J., Petersen, S. E., Schlaggar, B. L. & Greene, D. J., Jan 15 2020, In : Biological Psychiatry. 87, 2, p. 164-173 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Tourette Syndrome
Age Groups
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
5 Citations (Scopus)
Social Class
Behavioral Genetics
Genetic Research
1 Citation (Scopus)

Brain activity in struggling readers before intervention relates to future reading gains

Nugiel, T., Roe, M. A., Taylor, W. P., Cirino, P. T., Vaughn, S. R., Fletcher, J. M., Juranek, J. & Church-Lang, J., Feb 1 2019, In : Cortex. 111, p. 286-302 17 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Executive Function
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Parietal Lobe

Cognitive, Intervention, and Neuroimaging Perspectives on Executive Function in Children With Reading Disabilities

Church, J. A., Cirino, P. T., Miciak, J., Juranek, J., Vaughn, S. & Fletcher, J. M., May 2019, In : New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development. 2019, 165, p. 25-54 30 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Disabled Children
Executive Function

Correction: Brain structure in pediatric Tourette syndrome (Molecular Psychiatry, (2017), 22, 7, (972-980), 10.1038/mp.2016.194)

The Tourette Association of America Neuroimaging Consortium, Jan 1 2019, In : Molecular psychiatry.

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

Open Access
Tourette Syndrome
Los Angeles