Research

Pattern Separation in the Medial Temporal Lobe

Ever wonder why it's so hard to find your car in the parking lot at the end of the day? Or why we can remember commercial jingles from our childhood, but not what we had for dinner last Tuesday night? These are just a few examples of how our memory succeeds (and fails) to resolve the interference in every-day experience. Computational models of the function of brain structures such as the hippocampus and related medial temporal lobe cortical structures assert that our brains form distinct memories of our experiences through a process called pattern separation. In pattern separation, overlapping representations are made as dissimilar as possible in order to reduce retrieval errors. Thus, we're able to form memories for events that happen in the same context, but at different times, and these memories typically don't get in each other's way. When we need to retrieve one of these memories, the hippocampus perforems the retrieval through a process called pattern completion, whereby the full representation is retrieved when given a partial or degraded cue.

One aspect of my research focuses on testing the predictions of computational models using a number of modalities, including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in healthy younger adults, neuropsychological studies with amnesic patients who have damage to these brain structures, and lesion studies with animal models.

Relevant Abstracts and Publications:

Doxey, C. R., Hodges, C. B., Bodily, T. A., Muncy, N. M., & Kirwan, C. B. (2017). The effects of sleep on the neural correlates of pattern separation. Hippocampus. doi:10.1002/hipo.22814

Anderson, M.L., James, J.R., & Kirwan, C.B. (2017). An Event-related Potential Investigation of Pattern Separation and Pattern Completion Processes. Cognitive Neuroscience.

South, M., Nielson, C.A., Stephenson, K.G., Maisel, M.E., Top, D.N., & Kirwan, C.B. (2015). Overactive Pattern Separation Memory Associated With Negative Emotionality in Adults Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2547-x

Doxey, C.R. & Kirwan, C.B. (2015). Structural and Functional Correlates of Behavioral Pattern Separation in the Hippocampus and Medial Temporal Lobe. Hippocampus. doi: 10.1002/hipo.22389

Holden, H.M., Toner, C., Pirogovsky, E., Kirwan, C.B., & Gilbert, P.E (2013). Visual object pattern separation varies in older adults. Learning and Memory. 20:348-351. [DOI] [PMC]

Motley, S.E. & Kirwan, C.B. (2012). A parametric investivation of pattern separation processes in the medial temporal lobe. Journal of Neuroscience. 32(28):13076-13084      

Kirwan, C.B., Hartshorn, J.A., Stark, S.M., Goodrich-Hunsaker, N.J., Hopkins, R.O., & Stark, C.E.L. (2012). Pattern separation deficits following damage to the                    hippocampus. Neuropsychologia. 50:2408-2414.

Kirwan, C.B., Hartshorn, J.A., Stark, S.M., Goodrich-Hunsaker, N.J., Hopkins, R.O., & Stark, C.E.L. (In Press). Pattern separation deficits following damage to the hippocampus. Neuropsychologia.

Toner, C.K., Pirogovsky, E., Kirwan, C.B., & Gilbert, P.E. (2009). Age-related changed in visual object pattern separation. Learning and Memory. 16:338:342. [link]

Bakker, A., Kirwan, C.B., & Stark, C.E.L. (2008). Pattern separation in the human hippocampal CA3 and dentate gyrus. Science. 319:(5870):1640-1642. [link]

Kirwan, C.B., & Stark, C.E.L. (2007).  Overcoming interference: an fMRI investigation of pattern separation processes in the medial temporal lobe. Learning and Memory 14:625-633. [pdf]

Kirwan, C.B., Gilbert, P.E., & Kesner, R.P. (2005).  The role of the hippocampus in spatial location retrieval. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory 83(1):65-71. [pdf]

 


Functional Distinctions within the Medial Temporal Lobe

Based on the anatomical connections within and between the hippocampus and the adjacent medial temporal lobe cortical areas, many researchers have proposed functional distinctions between these structures. We know from patients with damage to these areas that they are all involved in forming long-term declarative memories, but lesions rarely precisely affect one brain structure.

Much of my research focuses on examining on the proposed functional distinctions that exist within and between medial temporal lobe structures.

Relevant abstracts and publications:

Kirwan, C.B., Ashby, S.R., & Nash, M.I. (2014). Remembering and Imagining Differentially Engage the Hippocampus: A Multivariate fMRI Investigation. Cognitive Neuroscience. 5(3-4):1-9. doi: 10.1080/17588928.2014.933203

Smith, C.N., Jeneson, A., Frascino, J.C., Kirwan, C. B., Hopkins, R.O., & Squire, L.R. (2014). When recognition memory is independent of hippocampal function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1409878111

Shelton, D.J., & Kirwan C.B. (2013). A possible negative influence of depression on the ability to overcome memory interference. Behavioural Brain Research, 256(0), 20-26.[DOI]

Larson, M.J., Gray, A.C., Clayson, P.E., Jones, R., & Kirwan, C.B. (2013). What are the influences of orthogonally-manipulated valence and arousal on performance monitoring processes? The effects of affective state. International Journal of Psychophysiology. 87(3):327-339. 

Jeneson, A., Kirwan, C.B., & Squire, L.R. (2010). Recognition without awareness: An elusive phenomenon. Learning and Memory. 17:454-459

Kirwan, C.B., Wixted, J.T., & Squire, L.R. (2010). A demonstration that the hippocampus supports both recollection and familiarity. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107(1):344-348.

Jeneson, A., Kirwan, C.B., Hopkins, R.O., Wixted, J.T., & Squire, L.R. (2010). Recognition memory and the hippocampus: A test of the hippocampal contribution to recollection and familiarity. Learning and Memory. 17:852-859.

Kirwan, C.B., Shrager, Y., & Squire, L.R. (2009). Medial temporal lobe activity can distinguish between old and new stimuli independently of overt behavioral choice. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 106(34): 14617-14621.

Kirwan, C.B., Wixted, J.T., & Squire, L.R. (2008).  Activity in the medial temporal lobe predicts memory strength, whereas activity in the prefrontal cortex predicts recollection. The Journal of Neuroscience. 28(42):10541-10548. [link, commentary]

Shrager, Y., Kirwan, C.B., & Squire, L.R. (2008). Activity in both hippocampus and perirhinal cortex predicts the memory strength of subsequently remembered information. Neuron, 59:547-533. [link, commentary]

Shrager, Y., Kirwan, C.B., & Squire, L.R. (2008). The neural basis of the cognitive map: Path integration does not require hippocampus or entorhinal cortex. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105(33):12034-12038. [link, press]

Kirwan, C.B., Galvan, V.V., Bayley, P.B., & Squire, L.R. (2008). Detailed Recollection of Remote Autobiographical Memory After Damage to the Medial Temporal Lobe. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 105(7):2676-2680. [pdf, press 1, press 2]

Kirwan, C.B., & Stark, C.E.L.  (2004).  Medial temporal lobe activation during encoding and retrieval of novel face-name pairs. Hippocampus 14:919-930. [pdf]

 


High Resolution fMRI and Advanced Cross Participant Alignment

Two challenges posed to those who wish to use fMRI to examine the function of small brain structures such as the hippocampus are 1) typical functional resolution of fMRI is almost as large as the structures themselves in some places and 2) spatial normalization algorithms used to align different participants brains to one another tend to do a poor job with sub-cortical structures. We have attempted to address the first issue by developing high-resolution scanning techniques. To address the second question, we have collaborated with the Center for Imaging Science at Johns Hopkins University to develop an advanced method for cross-participant alignment, dubbed ROI-LDDMM. This increase in the alignment between subjects leads to greater power to detect real effects in group fMRI analyses.

Relevant abstracts and publications:

Muncy, N. M., Hedges-Muncy, A. M., & Kirwan, C. B. (2017). Discrete pre-processing step effects in registration-based pipelines, a preliminary volumetric study on T1-weighted images. Plos One,12(10). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186071

Kirwan, C.B., Jones, C.K., Miller, M.I., & Stark, C.E.L.  (2007).  High-Resolution fMRI Investigation of the Medial Temporal Lobe. Human Brain Mapping 28(10):959-966. [pdf]

Kirwan, C.B., Flanery, M.A., Jones, C.K., Pekar, J., & Stark, C.E.L. (2005).  High-resolution fMRI investigation of the medial temporal lobe.  Society for Neuroscience Abstracts, vol. 31, Program No. 315.11.


Other fMRI and Collaborations

Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) can be used to answer a variety of different questions. We collaborate with other labs who are interesting in adding an fMRI component to their research.

Relevant abstracts and publications: 

Carbine, K. A., Duraccio, K. M., Kirwan, C. B., Muncy, N. M., Lecheminant, J. D., & Larson, M. J. (2018). A direct comparison between ERP and fMRI measurements of food-related inhibitory control: Implications for BMI status and dietary intake. NeuroImage,166, 335-348. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.11.008

Vance, A., Jenkins, J. L., Anderson, B. B., Kirwan, C. B., & Bjornn, D. (2017). Why and How to Design Complementary NeuroIS and Behavioral Experiments. Information Systems and Neuroscience Lecture Notes in Information Systems and Organisation,65-71. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-67431-5_8

Muncy, N. M., Hedges-Muncy, A. M., & Kirwan, C. B. (2017). Discrete pre-processing step effects in registration-based pipelines, a preliminary volumetric study on T1-weighted images. Plos One,12(10). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0186071

Masterson, T. D., Kirwan, C. B., Davidson, L. E., Larson, M. J., Keller, K. L., Fearnbach, S. N., . . . Lecheminant, J. D. (2017). Brain reactivity to visual food stimuli after moderate-intensity exercise in children. Brain Imaging and Behavior. doi:10.1007/s11682-017-9766-z

Johnson, A. W., Devries, T. D., Kirwan, B., & Myrer, J. W. (2017). FMRI Asessed Neural Activation in Blood Flow Restricted Handgrip Exercise. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,49, 694-695. doi:10.1249/01.mss.0000518838.23408.15

Wright, K. L., Kirwan, C. B., Gale, S. D., Levan, A. J., & Hopkins, R. O. (2017). Long-term cognitive and neuroanatomical stability in patients with anoxic amnesia: A Case Report. Brain Injury,31(5), 709-716. doi:10.1080/02699052.2017.1285051

Anderson, B. B., Jenkins, J. L., Vance, A., Kirwan, C. B., & Eargle, D. (2016). Your memory is working against you: How eye tracking and memory explain habituation to security warnings. Decision Support Systems,92, 3-13. doi:10.1016/j.dss.2016.09.010

Jensen, C. D., Duraccio, K. M., Carbine, K. A., Barnett, K. A., & Kirwan, C. B. (2016). Motivational Impact of Palatable Food Correlates With Functional Brain Responses to Food Images in Adolescents. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. doi:10.1093/jpepsy/jsw091    

Anderson, B.B., Vance, A., Kirwan, C.B., Jenkins, J.L., Eargle, D (2016). From Warning to Wallpaper: Why the Brain Habituates to Security Warnings. Journal of Management Information Systems

Jenkins, J., Anderson, B.B., Vance, A., Kirwan, C.B. & Eargle, D. (2016). More Harm than Good? How Messages that Interrupt Can Make Us Vulnerable. Information Systems Research.

Vance, A., Anderson, B.B., Kirwan, C.B., & Eargle, D., Jenkins, J. (2016). How Users Perceive and Respond to Security Messages: A NeuroIS Research Agenda and Empirical Study. European Journal of Information Systems.

Larson, M.J., Clayson, P.E., Kirwan, C.B., & Weissman, D.H. (2016). Event-related Potential (ERP) Indices of Congruency Sequence Effects without Feature Integration. Psychophysiology. doi: 10.1111/psyp.12625

Top, D.N, Stephenson, K., South, M.D., Doxey, C.R., & Kirwan, C.B. (2016). Atypical amygdala response to fear conditioning in autism spectrum disorder. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging. doi: 10.1016/j.bpsc.2016.01.008

Masterson, T.D., Kirwan, C.B., Davidson, L.E., & LeCheminant, J.D. (2016) Neural reactivity to visual food stimuli is reduced in some areas of the brain during evening hours compared to morning: an fMRI study in women. Brain Imaging and Behavior. 10:68-78. doi: 10.1007/s11682-015-9366-8

Anderson, B.B., Kirwan, C.B., Eargle, D., Jensen, S., Vance, A. (2015). Neural Correlates of Gender Differences and Color in Distinguishing Security Warnings and Legitimate Websites: A Neurosecurity Study. Journal of Cybersecurity. 

South, M., Nielson, C.A., Stephenson, K.G., Maisel, M.E., Top, D.N., & Kirwan, C.B. (2015). Overactive Pattern Separation Memory Associated With Negative Emotionality in Adults Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. doi: 10.1007/s10803-015-2547-x

Jensen, C.D., Duracci Kirwan, C.B. (2015). Topical Review: Unique Contributions of Magnetic Resonance Imaging to Pediatric Psychology Research. Journal of Pediatric Psychology. doi: 10.1093/jpepsy/jsv065

Masterson, T.D., Kirwan, C.B., Davidson, L.E., & LeCheminant, J.D. (2015) Neural reactivity to visual food stimuli is reduced in some areas of the brain during evening hours compared to morning: an fMRI study in women. Brain Imaging and Behavior. doi: 10.1007/s11682-015-9366-8

Jensen, C.D. & Kirwan, C.B. (2015). Functional Brain Response to Food Images in Successful Adolescent Weight Losers Compared to Normal Weight and Overweight Controls. Obesity. doi: 10.1002/oby.21004 

Flom, R., Janis, R.B., Garcia, D.J. & Kirwan, C.B. (2014). The Effects of Exposure to Dynamic Expressions of Affect on 5-Month-olds’ Memory. Infant Behavior and Development. 37(4):752-759. doi: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2014.09.006

South, M., Chamberlain, P.D., Wigham, S., Newton, T., Gray, L., Freeston, M., Parr, J., McConachie, H., Le Couter, A., Kirwan, C.B., & Rogers, J. (2013). Enhanced decision making and risk avoidance in young people with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. Neuropsychology. No Pagination Specified. doi: 10.1037/neu0000016

Vance, A. Anderson, B., Kirwan, C.B., & Eargle, D. (2014). Using Measures of Risk Perception to Predict Information Security Behavior: Insights from Electroencephalography (EEG). Journal of the Association for Information Systems. 15(10):679-722. link

Levan, A., Baxter, L., Kirwan, C.B., Black, G., & Gale, S.D. (2014). Right frontal pole cortical thickness and social competence in children with chronic traumatic brain injury: Cognitive proficiency as a mediator. Journal of Head Trauma Rehabilitation. doi: 10.1097/HTR.0000000000000040

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