Research

I'm a broadly trained psychological researcher and at the highest level, I try to understand neural and cognitive interactions amongst different mental processes. More specifically, my research falls under the purview of cognitive and social psychology as well as neuroscience, meaning that depending on the audience I can frame my research from multiple domains and perspectives. In even more precise terms, my research focuses on the interactions and interdependencies of language, memory, and social interaction. I use neuropsychological, behavioral and functional neuroimaging methodologies to examine the neural mechanisms that underlie our how our memories affect our abilities to communicate and interact.



Research Publications - Peer Reviewed (14)

✝Loras College co-author; *Indicates an undergraduate student co-author; **Indicates a high-school student co-author

Notice

Electronic versions of articles and posters are provided to ensure timely dissemination of academic work. They can be downloaded for noncommercial purposes. Copyright resides with the respective copyright holders as stated in each article. The files may not be reposted without permission from copyright holders.

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Valentine, A.* & Kurczek, J., (2016). “Social” Neuroscience: Leveraging Social Media to Increase Student Engagement and Public Understanding of Neuroscience Journal for Undergraduate Neuroscience, 15(1), A94-A103.

Craver, C.F., Keven, N., Kwan, D., Kurczek, J., Duff, M.C., & Rosenbaum, R.S., (2016). Moral judgment in episodic amnesia. Hippocampus, 26(8), 975-979.

Warren, D.E., Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2016). What relates newspaper, definite, and clothing? An article describing deficits in convergent problem solving and creativity following hippocampal damage Hippocampus, 26(7), 835-840.

Lenton-Brym, A.*, Kurczek, J., Rosenbaum, R.S., & Sheldon, S. (2016). A novel method for assessing the impact of medial temporal lobe amnesia on the characteristics of generated autobiographical events. Neuropsychologia, 85, 35-43.

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Kwan, D., Kurczek, J. & Rosenbaum, R.S. (2015). Specific, personal cues benefit episodic prospection in moderate medial temporal lobe amnesia. British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 55(2), 137-153.

Kurczek, J., Wechsler, E.*, Ahuja, S.*, Jensen, U, Cohen, N.J., Tranel, D. & Duff, M.C. (2015). Differential contributions of the hippocampus and medial prefrontal cortex to self-projection and self-referential processing. Neuropsychologia, 73, 116-126.

Duff, M.C., Kurczek, J. & Miller, M.A. (2015). Use of reported speech in the communicative interactions of individuals with ventromedial prefrontal cortex damage. Journal of Interactional Research in Communication Disorders. 6(1), 97-114.

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Kurczek, J. & Johnson, J.* (2014). The student as teacher: Reflections on collaborative learning in a senior seminar. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE). 12(2), A93-A99.

Burin, D., Acion, L., Kurczek, J., Duff, M.C., Tranel., D.,& Jorge, R. (2014). The role of ventromedial prefrontal cortex in text comprehension inferences: Semantic coherence or socio-emotional perspective? Brain and Language, 129, 58-64.

Gordon, J.K. & Kurczek, J. (2014). The Aging Neighborhood: Phonological Density in Naming. Language and Cognitive Processes, 29(1), 326-344.

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Duff, M.C., Kurczek, J., Rubin, R., Cohen, N.J.,& Tranel, D. (2013). Hippocampal amnesia disrupts creative thinking. Hippocampus, 23(12), 1143-1149.

Kurczek, J., Brown-Schmidt, S.,& Duff, M.C. (2013). Hippocampal contributions to language: Evidence of referential processing deficits in amnesia. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 142(4), 1346-1354.

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Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2012). Intact discourse cohesion and coherence following bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex. Brain and Language, 123(3), 222-227.

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Kurczek, J. & Duff, M.C. (2011). Cohesion, coherence and declarative memory: Discourse patterns in patients with hippocampal amnesia. Aphasiology, 25(6/7), 700-712.

Other Research Publications (2)

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Cavdarbasha, D.* & Kurczek, J. (2017). Connecting the dots: Your brain and creativity. Frontiers for Young Minds, 5(19). doi: 10.3389/frym.2017.00019

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Kurczek, J., Vanderveen, N., & Duff, M. (2014). Multiple memory systems and their support of language. Perspectives on Neuropsyiology and Neurogenic Speech and Language Disorders, 24(2), 64-73.

Refereed Presentations and Published Abstracts (21)

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Vanderveen, N., Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C., (2017, November). Metaphor production and comprehension in hippocampal amnesia. Poster presentation at the American Speech and Hearing Association Los Angeles, CA.

Kurczek, J., (2017, April). Inferring function with human brain lesions: Continuing to understand how the brain works, when it doesn’t. Twitter presentation at the Brain Twitter Conference. World Wide Web.

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Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2016, April). Stability and consistency of narrative production across time in hippocampal amnesia Poster presentation at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Meeting. New York, New York.

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Kurczek, J., Bacopulos, A., St.-Jacques, P.L., Svoboda, E., Rosenbaum, R.S., & Levine, B. (2015, March). Aging and episodic memory: Changes in memory and narrative ability? Poster presentation at the 25 Annual Rotman Conference. Toronto, Canada.

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Kurczek, J., Ajuha, S.**, Wechsler, E.**, Cohen, N.J., Tranel, D., & Duff, M.C. (2014, April). Differential contributions of the medial prefrontal cortex and hippocampus to self-projection and self-referential processing. Poster presentation at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society, Boston, MA.
(CNS Graduate Student Poster Award)

Brown-Schmidt, S., Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2014, March). Hippocampal contributions to discourse processing: Findings from amnesia. Poster presentation at the 26th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Columbia, SC.

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Kurczek, J. & Duff, M.C. (2013, November). Use of the historical present in the narratives of patients with hippocampal amnesia. Poster presentation at the Society for Neuroscience Conference, San Diego, CA.

Kurczek, J., Brown-Schmidt, S., & Duff, M.C. (2013, April). Hippocampal damage disrupts referential processing. Poster presentation at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Duff, M.C., & Kurczek, J. (2013, April). Hippocampal amnesia disrupts episodic memory and narrative construction. Poster presentation at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society Conference, San Francisco, CA.

Brown-Schmidt, S., Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2013, March). Contributions of declarative memory to on-line reference resolution: Findings from amnesia. Paper presentation at 26th Annual CUNY Conference on Human Sentence Processing, Columbia, SC.

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Duff, M.C., & Kurczek, J. (2012, October). Referential processing places high demands on hippocampal declarative memory. Poster presentation at the Society for the Neurobiology of Language Conference, San Sebastian, Spain.

Croft, K. E., Ahuja, S.**, Wechsler, E. V.**, Fishel, B. R., Kurczek, J., Duff, M. C., & Tranel, D. (2012, October). Forging a partnership between high school and university: Teaching neuroscience to young women scientists (FFF50). Poster presentation at the Society for Neuroscience Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Kurczek, J. & Duff, M. C. (2012, May). The neural substrates of creative thinking. Paper presentation at the Conceptual Structure, Discourse, and Language Conference (CSDL), Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Kurczek, J., Gupta, R., & Duff, M. (2012, April). Damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex disrupts nonconscious facial mimicry. Poster presentation at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society (CNS), Chicago, IL.

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Duff, M. C. & Kurczek, J. (2011, November), Effects of hippocampal amnesia on discourse following tramatic brain injury. Poster presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), San Diego, CA.

Hengst, J.A., Duff, M.C., Kurczek, J., & Prior, P. (2011, November). Metaphor as an interactional discourse resource for individuals with Aphasia and their communication partners. Paper presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), San Diego, CA.

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Kurczek, J., Duff, M.C., Jensen, U., Adolphs, R., Cohen, N. J., & Tranel, D. (2010, November). Hippocampal amnesia impairs the generation of mental representations across all time periods. Poster presentation at the Society for Neuroscience Conference, San Diego, CA.

Kurczek, J., Duff, M.C., Hengst, J.A. & Prior, P. (2010, November). Segmentation tools for analyzing spoken discourse samples: Pitfalls and promises. Paper presentation at the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), Philidelphia, PA.

Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2010, May). Cohesion, coherence and declarative memory: Discourse patterns in patients with hippocampal amnesia. Poster presentation at the Clinical Aphasiology Conference (CAC), Charleston, SC. (Abstract) Aphasiology, 24 (7-8).

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Ohnesorge, C., & Kurczek, J. (2009, November). A Comparison of Semantic and repetition priming effects within the EZ diffusion model. Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of Psychonomics Society, Boston, MA. (Abstract) Abstracts of the Psychonomic Society, 14, 82.

Kurczek, J. & Gordon, J.K. (2009, October). Lexical decision in aging: Stimulus variables and response time components. Poster presentation at the Aging and Speech Communication Conference, Bloomington, IN.

Invited Presentations (5)

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Neurological aspects of adult learning: What happens to the brain as one ages and how does an aging brain work? Divine Word College Faculty Institute: Epworth, IA
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Facilitating pronoun comprehension in individuals with profound memory impairment

Moss Rehabilitation Research Institute: Philadelphia, PA
Hippocampal contributions to language and beyond Psychology Department, University of Pennsylvania: Philadelphia, PA
Hippocampal contributions to language: Examples from language and beyond Memory Disorders Research Clinic, Boston University: Boston, MA
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Traumatic Brain Injury National Alliance on Mental Illness: Iowa City, IA

Local and Regional Conference Presentations (24)

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Hooks, A.✝, Collins, S., & Kurczek, J. (2017, May). A low-cost mobile tracker? Validating accuracy and precision of mobile tracking with the EyeTribe. Poster Presentation at the 4th Annual Loras Legacy Symposium. Dubuque, IA.

Johnson, T.✝, Richardson, A.✝, & Kurczek, J. (2017, May). Assessing and validating a 3D motion tracking balance assessment. Poster Presentation at the 4th Annual Loras Legacy Symposium. Dubuque, IA.

Weaver, E.✝, Kurczek, J., & Jarcho, M. (2017, May). The effects of environmental stress on Corticosterone levels in adolescent mice. Poster Presentation at the 4th Annual Loras Legacy Symposium. Dubuque, IA.

Anderson, M.✝, Lengwin, M.✝, Miller, S.✝, & Kurczek, J. (2017, May). Effects of predator odor (2-phenylethylamine) on risk-taking behavior in mice. Poster Presentation at the 4th Annual Loras Legacy Symposium. Dubuque, IA.

Richardson, A.✝, Johnson, T.✝, & Kurczek, J. (2017, April). Objective and subjective balance assessment: Do they weigh up? Poster Presentation at the Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference. Northfield, MN.

Hooks, A.✝, Collins, S., & Kurczek, J. (2017, April). Spontaneous eyeblink rate as a predictor of dopamine: Individual differences across previous collision sport history. Poster Presentation at the Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference. Northfield, MN.

Collins, S., Hooks, A.✝, & Kurczek, J. (2017, April). Can a low-cost eye-tracker “stand-up” to a mobile test of precision and accuracy. Poster Presentation at the Wisconsin Psychology Association Conference. Madison, WI.

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Spoden, A.✝, Edouard, S.* & Kurczek, J. (2016, November). An examination of the effect of visual stimuli and prompt on narrative. Poster Presentation at the Tri-States Undergraduate Psychology Conference. Platteville, WI.

Ahamed, H.*, & Kurczek, J. (2016, April). Mind-ception: Investigating the relationship between theory of mind and decision making. Poster Presentation at the 31st Annual LVAIC Undergraduate Psychology Conference. Bethlehem, PA.

Edouard, S.*, & Kurczek, J. (2016, April). An investigation of the interaction between autobiographical memory and narrative practices. Poster Presentation at the 31st Annual LVAIC Undergraduate Psychology Conference. Bethlehem, PA.

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Kurczek, J., Kwan, D., & Rosenbaum, R.S. (2015, May). Ventromedial prefrontal cortex lesions impair both intertemporal and probabilistic decision-making. Poster Presentation at the 11th Annual Southern Ontario Behavioral Decision Research Conference. Toronto, Canada.

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Beranek, C.*, Halfmann, K., Kurczek, J., & Hedgcock, W. (2014, March). Use of heart rate and heart rate variability in decision making research. Poster presentation at the Tippie Research Fair, Iowa City, IA.

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Harland, A.*, & Kurczek, J. (2013, April). Morality, parenting and politics: How to talk about it. Poster presentation at the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Student Research Conference, Cedar Falls, IA.

Tan, E.*, & Kurczek, J. (2013, April). Stuck in the present: The use of the historical present in constructed narratives of patients with bilateral hippocampal damage. Oral presentation at the Coe College Student Research Symposium, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Teltser, S.*, & Kurczek, J. (2013, April). Your words matter. Oral presentation at the Coe College Student Research Symposium, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Kurczek, J. (2013, April). Narratives and lessons from traumatic brain injury. Oral presentation at the Jakobson Conference, Iowa City, IA.

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Harland, A.*, & Kurczek, J. (2012, November). Metaphoric language in political discourse: Does it make a difference? Poster presentation at the Tri-States Undergraduate Psychology Conference, Platteville, WI.

Pickett, C.*, Kurczek, J. & Duff, M.C. (2012, November). Colorful descriptions and loud movement: Does hippocampal damage impair the use of metaphor? Poster presentation at the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students, San Jose, CA.

Hill, J.*, Pickett, C.*, Kurczek, J., & Duff, M. C. (2012, July). Is the ability to produce metaphor a sole product of the right hemisphere? Poster presentation at the University of Iowa Summer Undergraduate Research Conference, Iowa City, IA.

Cohen, A.*, Kurczek J., & Duff, M. C. (2012, July). I’d tell you a story if I could: The role of hippocampal declarative memory in narrative construction. Poster presentation at the University of Iowa Summer Undergraduate Research Conference, Iowa City, IA.

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Kurczek, J., & Duff, M.C. (2010, October). Declarative memory and discursive cohesion in hippocampal amnesia. Poster presentation at the Iowa Speech Hearing Association (ISHA), Iowa City, IA.

Kurczek, J. & Ohnesorge, C. (2010, August). Evaluating the Impact of Spatial Frequencies on the Perception of Gender. Poster presentation at the Annual Summer Interdisciplinary Conference (ASIC), Bend, OR.

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Kurczek, J., Rocklage, M., & Ohnesorge, C. (2008, May). Evaluating the Impact of Spatial Frequencies on the Perception of Gender. Poster presentation at the Minnesota Midbrains, St. Paul, MN.

Rocklage, M., Kurczek, J. & Ohnesorge, C. (2008, April). Perceptual Adaptation After-effects in Cross-Race Gender Identification. Poster presentation at the Minnesota Undergraduate Psychology Conference (MUPC), St. Paul, MN.

Campus or Departmental Presentations (19)

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Autobiographical memory and autobiographical narrative: What is “normal?” Loras College: Dubuque, IA
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Psychology 2.0: Shedding our Psychological Crisis Loras College: Dubuque, IA
Psychology Graduate School Workshop Haverford College: Haverford, PA
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Creating a class website, Teaching with Technology Forum Haverford College: Haverford, PA
Exploring the interactions and interdependencies of human cognition Haverford College: Haverford, PA
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Hippocampal contributions to language: Evidence of referential processing deficits in amnesia Neuroscience Seminar Series, University of Iowa: Iowa City, IA
Panel: Getting into Graduate School Tri-States Psychology Conference, Coe College: Cedar Rapids, IA
Tell me a story: Oral narratives in brain injury PDH4L, University of Iowa: Iowa City, IA
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Chameleons, social interaction and the brain: Frontal lobe contributions to mimicry Midbrains, Carleton College: Northfield, MN
The brain and story telling: What helps make stories meaningful Psychology Department, Cornell College: Mount Vernon, IA
Facial mimicry: Your brain is making friends without you knowing it Psychology Department, Augustana College: Rock Island, IL
The Ins and Outs of Graduate School Psychology Department, Augustana College: Rock Island, IL
Graduate School Panel Coe Psychology Club, Coe College: Cedar Rapids, IA
Memory, creativity, and mental representations: Lessons from hippocampal amnesics Psychology Department, Coe College: Cedar Rapids, IA
Graduate School Dos and Don'ts Cornell Psi Chi, Cornell College: Mt. Vernon, IA
I’d tell you a story if I could: The role of hippocampal declarative memory in narrative construction Neuroscience Seminar Series, University of Iowa: Iowa City, IA
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University of Iowa Neuroscience Program: A Graduate Perspective. Midbrains, St. Olaf College: Northfield, MN
Cohesion, coherence and declarative memory: Discourse patterns in patients with hippocampal amnesia. Neuroscience Seminar Series, University of Iowa: Iowa City, IA
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An introduction to R code. Language Discussion Group (LDG), University of Iowa: Iowa City, IA

Research Funding

2017-2018 Society for the Teaching of Psychology, Instructional Resource Award
“Social” psychology: Teaching scientific literacy and public engagement through social media, $1500
Co-PI: Jake Kurczek & Kameko Halfmann
2015-2016 Haverford College, Faculty Limited Research Fund
The interaction between narrative, decision-making and memory, $1000
PI: Jake Kurczek
2014-2015 CIHR, Operating Grant, Patient and neuroimaging studies of mental state representations, MOP 93535
PI: Shayna Rosenbaum & Brian Levine
Role: Post-Doctoral Fellow
2012-2014 NIH Research Project Grant, Language processing and the hippocampal declarative memory system, RO1-DC011755
PI: Melissa Duff & Sarah Brown-Schmidt
Role: Graduate Research Assistant
2012 University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine;
Magnetic Resonance Research Facility Pilot Grant ($6000)
PI: Jake Kurczek
2009-2010 NIH Research Project Grant, Anatomical basis of memory and language, P50- NS019632
PI: Daniel Tranel
Role: Graduate Research Assistant

Travel Funding

Duration

Agency; Award

Total Amount

2016 Haverford College
Visiting Faculty Travel Fellowship
$1000
2014 ECGPS
Travel Fellowship
$300
2013 GSS
Travel Fellowship
$300
2013 ECGPS
Travel Fellowship
$100
2012 GSS
Travel Fellowship
$400
2012 Conceptual Structure Discourse and Language Conference
Graduate Student Travel Award
$300
2012 University of Iowa International Programs
Graduate Student Travel Award
$400
2010 GSS
Travel Fellowship
$200
2010 University of Iowa Graduate Student Senate (GSS)
Student Travel Fellowship
$300
2010 University of Iowa Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students (ECGPS)
Travel Fellowship
$300
2009 University of Indiana Bloomington
Aging and Communication Conference Student Travel Award
$1000
Total $4,900

Other Funding

Duration

Agency; Award

Total Amount

2013 University of Iowa
Executive Council of Graduate and Professional Students (ECGPS) Service Grant
$300
2011 Society for Neuroscience (SfN)
Chapter Grant
$2000
Total $2,300

Research Interests

Click on each interest for more information

Memory Communication Metaphor
Social Cognition Engagement Education

Research Experience

Click on each of the topics below for more information.

Eye-tracking

Practical knowledge about using eye-tracking systems, processing eye-movement data, and analyzing/interpreting those data.

Psychophysiology

Practical knowledge about using psychophysiological systems, processing data and analyzing/interpreting EMG and ECG data.

Neuroimaging

Experience collecting, processing, and analyzing structural and functional neuroimaging data.

Discourse Analysis

Experience across micro- and macro-linguistic analyses across both standard and experimental protocols.

Statistics and Computing

Extensive applied and theoretical knowledge of statistics including linear mixed models. Experience with programming languages, shell scripting, and web technologies.

Neuropsychology

Extensive experience with standard and experimental neuropsychological tests in neurological populations.


Collaborators

Vanderbilt University

Melissa Duff

Sarah Brown-Schmidt

University of Iowa

Dan Tranel

Bill Hedgecock

Mitchell Kelly

University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Neal Cohen

Julie Hengst

Paul Prior

York University

Shayna Rosenbaum

Rotman Research Institute

Brian Levine

Washington University

Carl Craver

Len Green

Joel Myerson

University of Bologna

Eliza Ciaramelli

McGill University

Signy Sheldon

Boston University

Daniela Palombo