Kimberly Kirkpatrick

kirkpatrickContact Information

Office: BH 413

Phone: 532-0805

E-mail: kirkpatr@ksu.edu

Reward, Timing, & Decision Lab

Research Interests

I received my Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Iowa in 1995 under the supervision of Professor Edward A. Wasserman. My dissertation examined the role of spatial and feature-based information in pigeon visual perception. I then moved to Brown University in 1996, where I worked as a Post-doctoral fellow with Professor Russell M. Church examining the role of timing processes in classical conditioning paradigms. My research was funded in part by an NRSA from the NIH during this time. After leaving Brown in 2000, I established the York Timing Laboratory at the University of York, UK, where I spend 8 years as a faculty member. I moved from York to Kansas State in 2008 where I established the Reward, Timing and Decision (RTD) laboratory.

The main line of research in my laboratory is the role of timing and reward processes in determining impulsive and risky choice in rats. This research is progressing along a number of different routes including examining interactions between timing and reward processing, examining the effect of pharmacological interventions on timing and choice behavior, and assessing the role of reward processing neural substrates such as the nucleus accumbens core in timing and choice paradigms. We are also conducting some investigations of strain-related differences in discounting paradigms to determine the source of differences in levels of impulsivity among different strains of rats, and looking at the effects of environmental enrichment on reward processing and decision making. In 2010, I received an R01 grant from the NIMH to investigate targeted therapeutic interventions to treat impulsivity in our rat model. We are currently working on developing this line of research into a translational environment for application to targeted human populations. We are also working on developing a neurocomputational model of timing, reward processing and temporal discounting.

Student Involvement

Undergraduate and graduate students working in my laboratory are involved in all aspects of the research process. Depending upon the students’ interest, they can learn neurobiological techniques such as injections, histology, and stereotaxic surgery in addition to obtaining a strong grounding in behavioral analysis. Students will learn how to design projects, analyze data, write computer programs, and will be given the opportunity to contribute to the publication of the results and the writing of grants for funding of the research. Students are also encouraged to attend scientific meetings to present their research. I am open to supervising a multitude of possible projects that relate to the general areas described above and am also interested in developing new ideas based on the interests of potential students. In general, graduate students are funded on research assistantships with federal grants when money is available or through departmental graduate teaching assistantships. I can be contacted by e-mail (kirkpatr@ksu.edu) or telephone (785-532-0805) by students who are interested in conducting research in my laboratory.

Current Post-doctoral Fellows

Dr. Jennifer Peterson

Current Graduate Students

Catherine Hill

Andrew Marshall

Sarah Stuebing

Grant Funding (last 5 years)

  • National Institutes of Mental Health, Timing, reward processing, and choice, $1.3M, 2010-2016
  • Kansas State University, University Research Small Grant, Differential rearing effects on novelty-seeking, impulsive action, and impulsive choice, $4000, 2010
  • National Science Foundation, ADVANCE Distinguished Lecture Series, $1200, 2009
  • Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (UK), PI on Project Grant, Reward value effects on reward timing, £311,000, 2007-2009

Recent Publications (*indicates student co-author)

  • *Garcia, A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Impulsive choice behavior in four strains of rats: Evaluation of possible models of Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. Behavioural Brain Research, 238, 10-22.
  • *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). The effects of the previous outcome on probabilistic choice in rats. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Behavior Processes, 39, 24-38.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., *Marshall, A. T., *Clarke, J., & Cain, M. E. (2013). Environmental rearing effects on impulsivity and reward sensitivity. Behavioral Neuroscience, 127, 712-724.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Data mining and neurocomputational modeling in the neurosciences. In M. L. Rice (Ed.), The Merrill Series on The Research Mission of Public Universities (pp. 81-89). Lawrence, KS: The University of Kansas Merrill Advanced Studies Center.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Interactions of timing and prediction error learning. Behavioural Processes, 101, 135-145.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., *Bilton, T., Hansen, B. C., & Loschky, L. C. (2014). Scene gist categorization by pigeons. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 40, 162-177.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., *Marshall, A. T., *Smith, A., Koci, J., & Park, Y. (2014). Individual differences in impulsive and risky choice: Effects of environmental rearing conditions. Behavioural Brain Research, 269, 115-127.
  • *Marshall, A. T., *Smith, A. P., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Mechanisms of impulsive choice: I. Individual differences in interval timing and reward processing. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 102, 86-101.
  • Peterson, J. R., *Hill, C. C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Measurement of impulsive choice in rats: Same and alternate form test-retest reliability and temporal tracking. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 103, 166-179. DOI: 10.1002/jeab.124.
  • *Smith, A. P., *Marshall, A. T. & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Mechanisms of impulsive choice: II. Time-based interventions to improve self-control. Behavioural Processes, 112, 29-42. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2014.10.010.
  • *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Relative gains, losses, and reference points in probabilistic choice in rats. PLoS ONE, 10, e0117697. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0117697.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., *Marshall, A. T., *Smith, A. P. (2015). Mechanisms of individual differences in impulsive and risky choice. Comparative Cognition and Behavior Reviews, 10, 45-72.

Recent Conference Presentations (*indicates student co-author)

  • *Marshall, A., Galtress, T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Impulsive choice mechanisms: A reductionist approach. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Minneapolis, MN.
  • *Smith, A., Galtress, T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Reward contrast effects on timing and impulsive choice behavior. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Minneapolis, MN.
  • *Hyder, J., *Marshall, A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). The effects of relative gains and losses on probabilistic choice in rats. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Minneapolis, MN.
  • *Marshall, A., *Hyder, J., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Probabilistic choice in rats: the effects of differential losses and alternative outcomes. Fall Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Toronto, Canada.
  • *Smith, A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Delay exposure as a potential mechanism to increase self-control in rats. Fall Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Toronto, Canada.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Measurement of delay discounting: methodological issues. Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society, Toronto, Canada.
  • *Hill, C., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Measurement of impulsive choice in rats: I. Preliminary assessment. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • *Marshall, A. T., *Fardette, E., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). The effects of certain outcome magnitude on probabilistic choice in rats. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • Peterson, J. R., *Hill, C. C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Measurement of impulsive choice in rats: II. Test-retest reliability. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • *Wang, Z., *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Environmental rearing effects on behavioral flexibility. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Mechanisms of impulsive choice: reward sensitivity and devaluation. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, IL.
  • *Wang, Z., *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Environmental rearing effects on impulsivity in rats. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.
  • Peterson, J. R., *Hill, C. C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). The role of timing processes in three different impulsive choice procedures. Society for Neuroscience, Washington, DC.
  • *Hill, C. C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Mechanisms of impulsive choice: IV. Individual differences in timing and reward processes. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • *Lott, J. R., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). The effect of dominance on risky and impulsive choice. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • *Marshall, A. T., *Wang, Z., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Individual differences in impulsivity and behavioral flexibility: Effects of early rearing environment. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • *Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). A time-based intervention to promote self-control in middle-aged rats. Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.

Recent Invited Talks (*indicates student co-author)

  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Environmental rearing effects on decision making. Invited symposium contribution at the Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Data mining and neurocomputational modeling in the neurosciences. Invited talk at the Merrill Center for Advanced Studies Annual Retreat, Nebraska City, NE.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2013). Differential rearing effects on impulsivity. Invited symposium contribution at the Applied Behavioral Analysis International meeting. Merida, Mexico.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., & *Marshall, A. T. (2014). Why is time so powerful? Invited symposium contribution at the Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2014). Individual differences in impulsive and risky choice. Invited address presented at the Meeting on Addictions, Mexico City, MX.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). The trouble with the (discounting) curve. Invited talk at the Winter Conference on Animal Learning and Behavior, Winter Park, CO.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Individual differences in impulsive and risky choice. Invited colloquium presented at the Center for Visual and Cognitive Neuroscience, North Dakota State University, Fargo, ND.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., & *Marshall, A. T. (2015). Mechanisms of impulsive choice: III. The role of reward processes. Invited symposium contribution at the Spring Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Melbourne, FL.

Additional information and publications