Jessica Turner

Ph.D., University of California, Irvine, 1997
Associate Professor
Psychology and Neuroscience
Member, Cognitive Sciences Program
Member, NBN Program
Member, Center for Behavioral Neuroscience 
758 Urban Life
Imaging Genetics and Neuroinformatics Labs, 7th floor Urban Life


Research Description

My research interests fall under “what can we know from cognitive neuroimaging and genetic data,” and “how can we represent what we know from these experiments?”   I am currently accepting students across programs who are interested in the combination of imaging and genetics.

Imaging genetics

I am investigating the genetics underlying brain structure changes in chronic schizophrenia, as well as the genetic influences on functional and structural neuroimaging measures in other neuropsychological diseases.  The first research program includes the extraction and understanding of multivariate patterns within the combined methods of neuroimaging and genetics, as applied to clinical populations.  I primarily use independent component analysis (ICA), as well as its extensions into multi-modal datasets.  My background is in psychophysics and MRI methodology as applied to a range of clinical populations, with secondary experience in the analysis of genome wide scan (GWS) data. I collaborate closely with psychiatrists, computer scientists, geneticists and neuroscientists in research on the genetics of brain function and dysfunction.


The second research program includes the development of formal, computable representations of neuroimaging experiments, the experimental variables involved, and the results of the data for automated data sharing and meta-analysis within neurobiology.   Through collaborations with other cognitive neuroscientists, computer scientists and engineers, we are building computer-accessible representations of neuroimaging experiments and data, to improve automated data retrieval and reasoning in cognitive neuroscience.

Recent Publications

Google Scholar profile:

Funded Projects

1R56MH097870-01, NIMH (Laird and Turner)     08/07/2012 – 05/31/2014

BrainMap Tracker: Automated Annotation of Brain Mapping Experiments

The integration of results across the thousands of neuroimaging papers being published every year in neuropsychiatric diseases is needed to quickly and reliably identify the brain circuitry underlying cognitive and emotional dysfunction across different diagnostic categories. The BrainMap Tracker uses NCBO tools and semantic information to allow researchers to search PubMed and identify cross-disease groupings of studies using similar experimental methods or similar studies within a disease for meta-analysis.

1R01MH094524-01A1, NIMH (Calhoun and Turner)     03/01/2013 – 02/28/2017

Mining the Genomewide Scan: Genetic Profiles of Structural Loss in Schizophrenia

Through large-scale aggregation of pre-existing structural imaging and genome-wide scan data in schizophrenia, together with family studies, we are using multivariate techniques to determine the most heritable and disease-relevant structural brain patterns which covary with genetic profiles.

1 R01 MH097435-01A1, NIMH (Wang et al.)      09/1/2012-08/31/2016         

SchizConnect: Large-Scale Schizophrenia Neuroimaging Data Mediation and Federation

Large-scale data sharing and integration is needed to further the state-of-the-art schizophrenia research which is presently not possible due to practical limitations in the way in which data are being shared. We propose a data mediation and integration resource to overcome these limitations in a low-cost manner and deliver a web portal to interact with the federated databases.

1U01NS082074-01A1, NINDS (Calhoun and Turner)     07/1/2013 – 06/30/2016

Imaging and Genetics in Huntington’s (PREDICT HD)

The goal of this project is to determine genetic correlates of brain structure and loss of function, to reduce the uncertainty in disease progression; particularly in subjects whose genetic marker indicates a wide window of multiple decades in which they might develop the clinical diagnosis of Huntington’s Disease.

Jessica Turner