Muireann Irish's research while affiliated with The University of Sydney and other places

Publications (24)

Article
Full-text available
Balanced time perspective refers to the ability to flexibly switch between different temporal foci in an adaptive manner according to the current context. Functional connectivity within the default mode network (DMN) has been suggested to support balanced time perspective. The coupling between the DMN and fronto-parietal network (FPN) may drive man...
Article
The posteromedial cortex (PMC) is a major hub of the brain's default mode network, and is implicated in a broad range of internally driven cognitions, including visuospatial working memory. However, its precise contribution to these cognitive processes remains unclear. Using magnetoencephalography (MEG), we measured PMC activity in healthy human pa...
Article
Full-text available
Sex differences in various aspects of behaviour and cognition have been widely observed. Few studies, however, have explored potential sex differences in maintaining a balanced time perspective or their underlying neural correlates. To address these questions, two studies were conducted. In Study 1, time perspective was assessed in 1913 college stu...
Chapter
In our interview with Muireann Irish, we discuss how she progressed from finishing her PhD in Ireland to her current role as Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in Australia. Along the way, Muireann worked as a data analyst and saw how her PhD-related skills could be translated outside of academia, though she eventually returned to academia as a po...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sex differences in behaviour and cognition have been widely observed, however, little is known about such differences in maintaining a balanced time perspective or their potential underlying neural substrates. To answer the above questions, two studies were conducted. In Study 1, time perspective was assessed in 1,913 college students, including 77...
Article
Full-text available
The relationship between a balanced time perspective and life satisfaction has been demonstrated in previous studies, yet the potential mechanisms underlying this relationship remain unclear. The current study tested whether a latent factor “temporal negative affect” underlay anxiety and depression and whether this latent factor mediated the relati...
Article
Whether patients with schizophrenia are impaired in flexibly regulating attention in accordance with fluctuations in cognitive demand to achieve optimal task performance remains unclear. To address this issue, 47 patients with schizophrenia and 47 matched control participants were recruited to complete a time-based prospective memory task. Every 2-...
Article
Much of the rich internal world constructed by humans is derived from, and experienced through, visual mental imagery. Despite growing appreciation of visual exploration in guiding episodic memory processes, extant theories of prospection have yet to accommodate the precise role of visual mental imagery in the service of future-oriented thinking. W...
Article
In almost 50 years since Tulving’s seminal episodic/semantic distinction, advances in cognitive neuroscience have fostered a dramatic change in our understanding of declarative memory. Functional neuroimaging evidence reveals considerable overlap in the neural substrates of episodic and semantic memory systems, while studies in clinical populations...
Article
The distinction between episodic and semantic memory was first proposed in 1972 by Endel Tulving and is still of central importance in cognitive neuroscience. However, data obtained over the past 30 years or so support the idea that the frontiers between perception and knowledge and between episodic and semantic memory are not as clear cut as previ...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Frontotemporal dementia-motor neuron disease (FTD-MND) is diagnosed when both FTD and MND diagnostic criteria were fulfilled. The mode presentation of FTD-MND is currently unknown. This study used a data-driven approach to investigate the mode of presentation and profiles of behavioural and language disturbances in FTD-MND and compare...
Article
Autobiographical memory dysfunction is a pervasive feature of neurodegenerative disorders, but less is known about the integrity of autobiographical memory in Huntington's disease (HD). Deficits in anterograde verbal episodic memory on traditional neuropsychological tests have been detected in HD, however, whether personally-relevant autobiographic...
Article
OBJECTIVES: Prospection, or future thinking, refers to the ability to mentally simulate plausible events at a future point in time and draws heavily upon the capacity to retrieve autobiographical details from the past. This review examines the extent to which prospection is compromised in neurodegenerative disorders with a view to identifying (1) u...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: Semantic dementia, a subtype of frontotemporal lobar degeneration, is characterised by cross-modal loss of conceptual knowledge attributable to progressive degeneration of the left anterior temporal lobe. Much less is known regarding the clinical presentation of SD patients with predominantly right-lateralised atrophy. Recent reports emp...
Article
Converging evidence suggests that when individuals are left to think to themselves, a so-called default network of the brain is engaged, allowing the individual to daydream, reflect on their past, imagine possible future scenarios, and consider the viewpoints of others. These flexible self-relevant mental explorations enable the anticipation and ev...
Article
Episodic autobiographical memory (ABM) comprises recollection for events that are grounded within a specific spatiotemporal context, and usually accompanied by perceptual and emotional information. The neural substrates mediating ABM retrieval are those harbouring significant pathology in semantic dementia (SD) and behavioural-variant frontotempora...

Citations

... A total of 105 participants underwent TP evaluation, described in full elsewhere [29]. Ninety-one participants were involved in the final rsFC analysis as 14 participants were removed due to large head movement (exclusion criteria: head-motion > 2 mm or rotation > 2 • ) during the MRI scan or poor imaging quality. ...
... Previous research has attributed eye movements during future thinking to visual imagery (Conti & Irish, 2021;de Vito et al., 2015;El Haj & Lenoble, 2018;Wynn et al., 2022). ...
... Proposed as a key component of positive psychology [1,4], balanced TP is associated with a range of domains relevant for wellbeing Brain Sci. 2022, 12, 1201 2 of 9 including life satisfaction [5][6][7][8]. Recent studies suggest that balanced TP is associated with better mental health (e.g., reduced anxiety and depression symptoms) [9][10][11] and psychological flexibility [12]. ...
... Irish and Vatansever (2020, p.47) propose a '... concrete to abstract representation spectrum along modality-specific and default mode brain networks which collectively support rich and detailed memories', such that rather than specifying different stores or types of information as in the standard episodic/semantic distinction (see also Renoult et al., 2019), the memory system emerges as part of a larger scale network with retrieval of specific events from the personal past as being a type of interrogation of the stored representations based on a common network, rather than something restricted to a specific zone, region or process in the brain. As such, memories might be thought of as reflecting a dynamic pattern of local to regional connectivities, varying along the continuum from abstract to specific and more or less involving the sensorimotor regions (Irish & Vatansever, 2020). For an up-to-date review of the neural processes in the subjective experience of remembering taking on board both the large scale networks and traditional 'regions' involved in memory see Simons, Ritchey, and Fernyhough (2022). ...
... The implication is that retrieval is incomplete: participants find a stimulus familiar but at the same time, are unable to retrieve its source (the Brown, Marsh and Cleary experiments), or know that the familiarity is false (the Urquhart and O'Connor experiments). In terms of memory retrieval, as pointed out by Renoult and colleagues, familiarity is often defined by default -it is what occurs in the absence of the rich evocative mental time travel which is experienced in episodic remembering (Renoult, Irish, Moscovitch, & Rugg, 2019). For a definition of familiarity, we turn to the recognition memory literature, where it is described as a recognition memory decision-making process based on the evaluation of trace strength, a judgement of prior occurrence based simply on a feeling, rather than the retrieval of information (e.g. ...
... A study conducted through the Autobiographical Interview revealed global disturbance in both the free and probe recall conditions, with a greater prevalence for extraneous (external) details compared to the episodic ones (internal). Findings on autobiographical memory showed no correlation between this cognitive ability and others, while the only association found was with UHDRS scores (Carmichael, Irish, Glikmann-Johnston, Singh, & Stout, 2019). In contrast to episodic memory impairment, no recent evidence pointed to alterations in semantic memory. ...
... Because the AI can be used to study features of autobiographical memory and future thinking, the procedure has seen widespread use across domains of psychology. In addition to the aforementioned studies of aging and amnesia, it has been used to study Alzheimer's disease (e.g., Irish et al., 2011), depressive disorders (e.g., Söderlund et al., 2014), and the contributions of episodic retrieval to other domains of cognition, such as means-end problem solving (e.g., . As of November 2021, over two hundred studies have used this interview (Levine, 2021), and the paper that first described the interview has over 1400 citations listed on Google Scholar. ...
... This raises the possibility that VPT and ToM impairments in bvFTD arise due to divergent neurocognitive mechanisms. We also tentatively propose that, despite the absence of an association between these tasks, visual perspective taking and theory of mind impairments may interact in daily life in bvFTD, giving rise to the severe impairments in social functioning that are characteristic of this syndrome (Henry, von Hippel, Molenberghs, Lee, & Sachdev, 2016;Irish, Piguet, & Hodges, 2012). Nonetheless, as our relatively small sample size may have limited the ability to detect relevant associations, in particular after correcting for multiple comparisons, future studies with adequately powered samples are required to directly test these proposals and explore the influence of specific task demands. ...
... More recently, neuropsychological investigations in semantic dementia patients (Duval et al., 2012; Irish et al., 2012) have revealed the importance of general semantic memory in episodic forms of future thoughts giving rise to the semantic scaffolding hypothesis. Accordingly semantic memory may have a pivotal role for episodic prospection (Irish and Piguet, 2013). Otherwise Szpunar et al. (2014) have proposed a new taxonomy of prospection including various forms of future thinking which vary according a semantic-episodic continuum. ...
... This is not to say that the semantic system plays no role however. Indeed, semantic scaffolding hypothesis argues that semantic memory provides a crucial scaffold in which to embed the subjective experiences, a framework with which to evaluate and contextualize the episodic contribution to past and future [15,16] (see also [17] for a current review). ...