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Department of Psychological Sciences

Kimberly Kirkpatrick

kirkpatrickContact Information

Office: BH 496

Phone: 532-0805

E-mail: kirkpatr@ksu.edu

Reward, Timing, & Decision Lab

Director, Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity (CNAP)

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. This grant was renewed until 2020. For the renewal we are working on expanding the interventions and developing this line of research into a translational environment for application to targeted human populations. We are also working on developing a model of timing, reward processing and temporal discounting.

In 2017, I moved into the position of directing the Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity center, which was funded by a $10.6M grant from the National Institutes of General Medical Sciences. For more details on the center activities see: www.ksu.edu/cnap.

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) by students who are interested in conducting research in my laboratory.

Current Graduate Students

Kelsey Panfil

Catherine Steele (Hill)

Sarah Stuebing

Current Research Staff

Carrie Bailey (Research Assistant)

Dr. Travis Smith (Post-doctoral Fellow)

Grant Funding (last 5 years)

  • National Institute of General Medical Sciences, P20 COBRE center grant, Cognitive and neurobiological approaches to plasticity (C-NAP) center, $10.6M, 2017-2022, Role: PI/PD
  • National Institutes of Mental Health, R01 Project Grant, Timing, reward processing, and choice, $1.35M, 2016-2020, Role: PI
  • National Science Foundation, Graduate Research Fellowship, Catherine Hill, $132K, 2016-2019, Role: Sponsor
  • National Institutes of Health, T32 National Research Service Award, BRITE veterinary student program, $40K, 2015-2016, Role: Sponsor
  • National Institutes of Mental Health, Timing, reward processing, and choice, $1.3M, 2010-2016, Role: PI

Recent Publications (*indicates student co-author)

  • 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.
  • Peterson, J. R., *Hill, C. C., *Marshall, A. T., *Stuebing, S. L., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). I can't wait: Methods for measuring and moderating individual differences in impulsive choice. Journal of Agricultural and Food Industrial Organization, 13, 89-99.
  • *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Everywhere and everything: The power and ubiquity of time. International Journal of Comparative Psychology, 28, 1-29.
  • *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Mechanisms of impulsive choice: III. The role of reward processes. Behavioural Processes, 123, 134-148. DOI:10.1016/j.beproc.2015.10.013.
  • *Smith, A. P., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Reward contrast effects on impulsive choice and timing in rats. Timing and Time Perception, 4, 147-166.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., & Lazareva, O. (2016). Exploring animal minds: A tribute to the contributions of Edward Wasserman (editorial). Behavioural Processes, 123, 1-3.
  • Kirkpatrick, K., & Balsam, P. D. (2016). Associative learning and timing. Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences, 8, 181-185.
  • *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Accumbens D2: Raters of the Loss Outcome. Learning & Behavior, 45, 3-4. DOI: 10.3758/s13420-016-0244-z. 
  • *Wang, M. Z., *Marshall, A. T., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Differential effects of social and novelty enrichment on individual differences in impulsivity and behavioral flexibility. Behavioural Brain Research, 327, 54-64.

  • Marshall, A. T.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Reinforcement learning models of risky choice and the promotion of risk-taking by losses-disguised-as-wins in rats. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Animal Learning and Cognition, 43, 262-279. DOI: 10.1037/xan0000141. PMCID: 5682951
  • Steele, C. C.*, Pirkle, J. R. A.*, & Kirkpatrick K. (2017). Diet-induced impulsivity: Effects of a high-fat and a high-sugar diet on impulsive choice in rats. PLoS ONE, 12, e0180510. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180510. PMCID: 5491254
  • Steele, C. C.*, Peterson, J. R., Marshall, A. T.*, Stuebing, S. L.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2018). Nucleus accumbens core lesions induce sub-optimal choice and reduce sensitivity to magnitude and delay in impulsive choice tasks. Behavioural Brain Research, 339, 28-38. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.11.013. PMCID: 5729075
  • Kirkpatrick, K., Marshall, A. T.*, Steele, C. C.*, & Peterson, J. R. (2018). Resurrecting the individual in behavioral analysis: Using mixed effects models to address nonsystematic discounting data. Behavior Analysis: Research and Practice.
  • Jennings, D., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2018). Temporal map formation in second-order conditioning. Behavioural Processes. DOI: 10.1016/j.beproc.2018.02.001.
  • Bailey, C., Peterson, J. R., Schnegelsiepen, A.*, Stuebing, S. L.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2018). Durability and generalizability of time-based intervention effects on impulsive choice in rats. Behavioural Processes

Recent Conference Presentations (*indicates student co-author)

  • *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.
  • *Hill, C. C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Effects of dietary manipulations on body weight, locomotor activity, and impulsive choice in rats. Fall Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Chicago, IL.
  • *Stuebing, S. L., *Marshall, A. T., *Triplett, A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Exploring the gender gap: individual differences in impulsive choice and timing in female rats. Fall Meeting of the International Conference on Comparative Cognition, Chicago, IL.
  • *Hill, C. C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Short- and long-term effects of dietary manipulations on impulsive choice behavior and motivation in rats. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.
  • *Edmisten, S., *Campa, M., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Nucleus accumbens core lesions decrease reward magnitude sensitivity in steady state impulsive choice. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.
  • *Lott, J., *Davis, C., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Social dominance increases risky choice but not impulsive choice. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.
  • *Marshall, A. T., *Stuebing, S. L., *Triplett, A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Females in the forefront: the effects of a temporal intervention on impulsive choice in Sprague Dawley rats. Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL.
  • *Marshall, A. T., *Davis, C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Losses-disguised-as-wins and risky choice in rats: A reinforcement learning perspective. Eastern Psychological Association, New York, NY.
  • *Hill, C. C., *Pirkle, J. R. A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). The effect of diet on individual differences in impulsive choice. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Lincoln, NE.
  • *Edmisten, S., *Campa, M. S., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Nucleus accumbens core lesions have little effect on temporal sensitivity in impulsive choice. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, IL.
  • *Lott, J. R., *Davis, C., *Marshall, A. T., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Dominance and housing effects on individual differences in choice and motivation. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, IL.
  • *Marshall, A. T., *Davis, C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Reinforcement learning models of dynamic decision making in rats. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, IL.
  • *Hill, C. C., *Pirkle, J. R. A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). The effect of diet on individual differences in impulsive choice. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, Lincoln, NE.
  • *Edmisten, S., *Campa, M. S., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Nucleus accumbens core lesions have little effect on temporal sensitivity in impulsive choice. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, IL.

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    *Lott, J. R., *Davis, C., *Marshall, A. T., Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Dominance and housing effects on individual differences in choice and motivation. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, IL.
  • *Marshall, A. T., *Davis, C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Reinforcement learning models of dynamic decision making in rats. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Chicago, IL.
  • *Hill, C. C., *Pirkle, J. R. A., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). The effect of diet exposure on impulsive choice in rats: delay and reward sensitivity. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
  • *Stuebing, S. L. & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). A novel open-field task for the analysis of episodic-like memory and its components. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
  • *Marshall, A. T., Peterson, J. R., Turpen, C., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). The durability and generalizability of neurocognitive intervention effects on impulsive choice in rats. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego, CA.
  • Bailey, C., Marshall, A. T.*, Peterson, J. R., Schnegelsiepen, A.*, Stuebing, S. L.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Generalizability of a fixed-interval intervention effects on impulsive choice in rats. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Denver, CO.
  • Binkley, C. M., Stuebing, S. L.*, Peterson, J. R., Critcher, B.*, Davis, I. R.*, Koehn, P.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Fading in and out of time: Interventions to promote self-control. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Denver, CO.
  • Pirkle, J. R. A.*, Steele, C. C.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). The effects of dietary exposure on hedonic (liking) responses in rats. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Denver, CO.
  • Steele, C. C.*, Pirkle, J. R. A.*, Davis, I. R.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Diet-induced impulsivity: An investigation into bias and sensitivity to delay. Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Denver, CO.
  • Bailey, C.*, Schnegelsiepen, A.*, Stuebing, S.*, Marshall, A. T.*, Peterson, J. R., & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Testing order and generalizability of intervention effects on impulsive choice in rats. Pavlovian Society, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Steele, C. C.*, Davis, I. R.*, Pirkle, J. R. A.*, & Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Diet-induced impulsivity: The relationship between obesity and impulsive choice. Pavlovian Society, Philadelphia, PA.

Recent Invited Talks (*indicates student co-author)

  • 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.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). A mechanistic analysis of individual differences in impulsive choice in rats. Invited address at the Southeastern Association for Behavior Analysis. Roanoke, VA.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2015). Multiple pathways to impulsive choice. Invited colloquium at the State University of New York – Binghamton, Binghamton, NY.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Theory-driven versus theory-free modeling of decision-making data. Invited talk at the Winter Conference on Animal Learning and Behavior, Winter Park, CO.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2016). Origins of impulsive choice. Invited talk at the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Using interval schedules to promote self-control in rats. Invited talk at the Midwestern Psychological Association, Chicago, IL.
  • Kirkpatrick, K. (2017). Time-based interventions to promote self-control. Invited talk at the Society for the Quantitative Analyses of Behavior, Denver, CO.

Additional information and publications