Dr Karly Turner

Dr Karly Turner

Senior Lecturer

PhD (Neuroscience), Queensland Brain Institute, The University of Queensland, 2016

Bachelor of Science (Zoology) Honours Class I, The University of Queensland, 2007

Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), The University of Queensland, 2006

School of Psychology

I am a behavioural neuroscientist interested in cognitive processes that go awry in neuropsychiatric disorders. Using animal models I study the brain circuits underlying attention, learning and decision-making. We use sophisticated behavioural paradigms to dissect the psychological mechanisms underlying complex behaviour, in combination with various tools including chemogenetics, optogenetics and pharmacology to manipulate brain circuits. I am particularly interested in translational preclinical mental health research to bridge the bench to bedside gap, with my current project focused on understanding habits, impulsive and compulsive responding in disorders such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and schizophrenia.

Office 404, Mathews Building
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Kesby JP; Turner KM, 2024, 'The Translational Utility of Circuit-Based Manipulations in Preclinical Models', Biological Psychiatry Global Open Science, 4, pp. 103 - 104, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bpsgos.2023.11.004
    Journal articles | 2024
    Turner KM; Balleine BW, 2024, 'Stimulus control of habits: Evidence for both stimulus specificity and devaluation insensitivity in a dual-response task', Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 121, pp. 52 - 61, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jeab.898
    Journal articles | 2022
    Turner KM; Svegborn A; Langguth M; McKenzie C; Robbins TW, 2022, 'Opposing Roles of the Dorsolateral and Dorsomedial Striatum in the Acquisition of Skilled Action Sequencing in Rats', Journal of Neuroscience, 42, pp. 2039 - 2051, http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1907-21.2022
    Journal articles | 2022
    Watson P; O'Callaghan C; Perkes I; Bradfield L; Turner K, 2022, 'Making habits measurable beyond what they are not: A focus on associative dual-process models', Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 142, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2022.104869
    Journal articles | 2021
    Turner K; Svegborn A; Langguth M; McKenzie C; Robbins T, 2021, 'Opposing roles of the dorsolateral and dorsomedial striatum in the acquisition of skilled action sequencing in rats', , http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.15.439935
    Journal articles | 2021
    Turner KM; Balleine BW; Bradfield LA, 2021, 'Does disrupting the orbitofrontal cortex alter sensitivity to punishment? A potential mechanism of compulsivity.', Behavioral Neuroscience, 135, pp. 174 - 181, http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/bne0000443
    Journal articles | 2021
    Turner KM; Ganesan K; Bradfield LA, 2021, 'Evidence That Compulsive Reward Seeking Has Been Hiding in the Central Dorsal Striatum', Biological Psychiatry, 90, pp. 800 - 802, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2021.10.003
    Journal articles | 2020
    Turner K; Balleine B; Bradfield L, 2020, 'Does disrupting the Orbitofrontal Cortex alter sensitivity to punishment? A potential mechanism of compulsivity', , http://dx.doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/cwvmx
    Journal articles | 2020
    Turner KM; Parkes SL, 2020, 'Prefrontal regulation of behavioural control: Evidence from learning theory and translational approaches in rodents', Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews, 118, pp. 27 - 41, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neubiorev.2020.07.010
    Journal articles | 2018
    Langguth M; Fassin M; Alexander S; Turner KM; Burne THJ, 2018, 'No effect of prenatal vitamin D deficiency on autism-relevant behaviours in multiple inbred strains of mice', Behavioural Brain Research, 348, pp. 42 - 52, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2018.04.004
    Journal articles | 2017
    Kesby JP; Turner KM; Alexander S; Eyles DW; McGrath JJ; Burne THJ, 2017, 'Developmental vitamin D deficiency alters multiple neurotransmitter systems in the neonatal rat brain', International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, 62, pp. 1 - 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2017.07.002
    Journal articles | 2017
    Turner KM; Peak J; Burne THJ, 2017, 'Baseline-dependent effects of amphetamine on attention are associated with striatal dopamine metabolism', Scientific Reports, 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-00437-9
    Journal articles | 2017
    Turner KM; Simpson CG; Burne THJ, 2017, 'BALB/c mice can learn touchscreen visual discrimination and reversal tasks faster than C57BL/6 mice', Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2017.00016
    Journal articles | 2017
    Turner KM; Simpson CG; Burne THJ, 2017, 'Touchscreen-based Visual Discrimination and Reversal Tasks for Mice to Test Cognitive Flexibility', BIO-PROTOCOL, 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.21769/BioProtoc.2583
    Journal articles | 2016
    Turner KM; Burne THJ, 2016, 'Improvement of attention with amphetamine in low- and high-performing rats', Psychopharmacology, 233, pp. 3383 - 3394, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-016-4376-9
    Journal articles | 2016
    Turner KM; Peak J; Burne THJ, 2016, 'Measuring Attention in Rodents: Comparison of a Modified Signal Detection Task and the 5-Choice Serial Reaction Time Task', Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00370
    Journal articles | 2015
    Cui X; Lefevre E; Turner KM; Coelho CM; Alexander S; Burne THJ; Eyles DW, 2015, 'MK-801-induced behavioural sensitisation alters dopamine release and turnover in rat prefrontal cortex', Psychopharmacology, 232, pp. 509 - 517, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00213-014-3689-9
    Journal articles | 2015
    Peak JN; Turner KM; Burne THJ, 2015, 'The effect of developmental vitamin D deficiency in male and female Sprague-Dawley rats on decision-making using a rodent gambling task', Physiology and Behavior, 138, pp. 319 - 324, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2014.09.007
    Journal articles | 2014
    Burne THJ; Alexander S; Turner KM; Eyles DW; McGrath JJ, 2014, 'Developmentally vitamin D-deficient rats show enhanced prepulse inhibition after acute δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol', Behavioural Pharmacology, 25, pp. 236 - 244, http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/FBP.0000000000000041
    Journal articles | 2014
    Turner KM; Burne THJ, 2014, 'Comprehensive behavioural analysis of long Evans and Sprague-Dawley rats reveals differential effects of housing conditions on tests relevant to neuropsychiatric disorders', PLoS ONE, 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0093411
    Journal articles | 2013
    Byrne JH; Voogt M; Turner KM; Eyles DW; McGrath JJ; Burne THJ, 2013, 'The Impact of Adult Vitamin D Deficiency on Behaviour and Brain Function in Male Sprague-Dawley Rats', PLoS ONE, 8, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0071593
    Journal articles | 2013
    Turner KM; Burne THJ, 2013, 'Interaction of genotype and environment: Effect of strain and housing conditions on cognitive behaviour in rodent models of schizophrenia', Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00097
    Journal articles | 2013
    Turner KM; Young JW; McGrath JJ; Eyles DW; Burne THJ, 2013, 'Cognitive performance and response inhibition in developmentally vitamin D (DVD)-deficient rats', Behavioural Brain Research, 242, pp. 47 - 53, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbr.2012.12.029
    Journal articles | 2012
    Formella I; Scott EK; Burne THJ; Harms LR; Liu PY; Turner KM; Cui X; Eyles DW, 2012, 'Transient knockdown of Tyrosine Hydroxylase during development has persistent effects on behaviour in adult Zebrafish (Danio rerio)', PLoS ONE, 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0042482
    Journal articles | 2012
    Harms LR; Turner KM; Eyles DW; Young JW; McGrath JJ; Burne THJ, 2012, 'Attentional processing in C57BL/6J mice exposed to developmental vitamin D deficiency', PLoS ONE, 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0035896
    Journal articles | 2011
    Moreira LA; Ye YH; Turner K; Eyles DW; McGraw EA; O'Neill SL, 2011, 'The wMelPop strain of Wolbachia interferes with dopamine levels in Aedes aegypti', Parasites and Vectors, 4, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1756-3305-4-28
  • Preprints | 2022
    Watson P; O'Callaghan C; Perkes I; Bradfield L; Turner K, 2022, Making habits measurable beyond what they are not: a focus on associative dual-process models, , http://dx.doi.org/10.31234/osf.io/7m6c8
    Conference Papers | 2012
    Burne TH; Kesby JP; Turner K; Suzy A; McGrath JJ; Eyles DW, 2012, 'PRENATAL VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY ALTERS DOPAMINE AND GLUTAMATE METABOLISM IN RAT BRAIN', in SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH, ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, pp. S138 - S138, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0920-9964(12)70444-9
    Conference Papers | 2011
    Burne TH; Turner K; Alexander S; Eyles DW; McGrath JJ, 2011, 'MODELLING COGNITIVE SYMPTOMS IN THE DVD-DEFICIENT RODENT MODEL OF SCHIZOPHRENIA', in SCHIZOPHRENIA BULLETIN, OXFORD UNIV PRESS, CO, Colorado Springs, pp. 201 - 202, presented at 13th International Congress on Schizophrenia Research (ICSR), CO, Colorado Springs, 02 April 2011 - 06 April 2011, https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000287746000568&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
    Conference Papers | 2010
    Burne TH; Turner K; McGrath JJ; Eyles DW, 2010, 'ATTENTIONAL PERFORMANCE OF DVD-DEFICIENT RATS IN THE 5-CHOICE CONTINUOUS PERFORMANCE TEST', in SCHIZOPHRENIA RESEARCH, ELSEVIER, ITALY, Florence, pp. 275 - 275, presented at 2nd Conference of the Schizophrenia-International-Research-Society (SIRS), ITALY, Florence, 10 April 2010 - 14 April 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.schres.2010.02.442
    Conference Papers | 2010
    Burne THJ; Turner K; McGrath JJ; Eyles DW, 2010, 'MODELLING COGNITIVE SYMPTOMS IN DEVELOPMENTAL VITAMIN D-DEFICIENT RATS', in AUSTRALIAN AND NEW ZEALAND JOURNAL OF PSYCHIATRY, INFORMA HEALTHCARE, pp. A13 - A14, https://www.webofscience.com/api/gateway?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000282954700032&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1

2024-2028 NHMRC Ideas Grant

2023 BBRF NARSAD Young Investigator Grant

2021-2023 UNSW Safety Net Fellowship

2021 UNSW Science Covid-19 Strategic Support Grant

2017-2021 NHMRC CJ Martin Early Career Fellowship

2019 Goldstar Award, UNSW Faculty of Science


  • 2021: 1st Prize, Postdoc presentation, Stay Connected Neuro

  • 2019: IBNS Travel Award

  • 2018: Charles Slater Travel Award, University of Cambridge

  • 2018: IBRO International Travel Grant

  • 2018: FENS-IBRO/PERC Travel Grant

  • 2017: Guarantors of Brain Travel Grant

  • 2015-2016: QBI Top-up Scholarship, QBI, The University of Queensland

  • 2014: Best Short Talk Prize, QBI Graduate Student Symposium

  • 2014: SfN Chapter Travel Award, Society for Neuroscience

  • 2014: ANS Student Travel Award, Australian Neuroscience Society

  • 2013: Runner-up and People’s Choice Award, 3-Minute Thesis (3MT) Competition, QBI

  • 2013: ANS Student Travel Award, Australian Neuroscience Society

  • 2012: ATSE Young Science Ambassador Award, Australian Academy of Technological Science and Engineering

  • 2012: Istvan Tork Student Oral Prize, Australian Neuroscience Society

  • 2012-2016: Australian Postgraduate Award, Australian Government

  • 2012-2015: Smart Futures PhD Scholarship Award, Queensland Government

For publications see my Google Scholar page

Various activities including Young Science Ambassador for Wonders of Science Program in schools by ATSE; public demonstrations at events such as BRAINFest and university open days; lab tours and demonstrations for visitors from schools (NYSF, Brain Bee Competition) and university events; 2021 UNSW Women in Math and Science Champion.

Media interviews:

Neuroscience of habits: ABC Science

Breaking bad habits: Sunrise, Channel 7

My Research Supervision

Honours -  Maddison Fisher

PhD - Mia Langguth (University of Sydney)

Phd/Master - Sophie Welch

My Teaching

  • 2023-present: PSYC4093/4103, Honours elective, Course coordinator
  • 2023-present: PSYC5005, Graduate Diploma Course, Course coordinator
  • 2020-present: NEUR4411, Lecturer