Stark Lab

Neurobiology & Behavior

HomeShauna Stark, M.S.

Shauna Stark, M.S.

Shauna Stark

Research Scientist
M.S. Psychology, 2000
University of Oregon

I am interested in how memory and underlying brain dynamics change as a function of aging. To this end, I utilize structural and functional MRI, as well as the development of behavioral assays to assess these changes across the lifespan.


Klippenstein JL, Stark SM, Stark CEL, & Bennett IJ (2020) Neural substrates of mnemonic discrimination: A whole-brain fMRI investigation. Brain & Behavior, DOI: 10.1002/brb3.1560

Radhakrishnana H, Stark SM, & Stark CEL (2020) Microstructural alterations in hippocampal subfields mediate age-related memory decline in humans. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience,


Levine L, Lench H, Stark C, Carlson S, Carpenter Z, Stark S, & Frithsen A (2019). Predicted and remembered emotion: Tomorrow’s vividness trumps yesterday’s accuracy. Memory, 28(1): 128-140.

Stark SM, Kirwan CB, & Stark CEL (2019). Mnemonic Similarity Task: A Tool for Assessing Hippocampal Integrity. Trends in Cognitive Science,

Stark SM, & Stark CEL (2019). Excitatory/inhibitory imbalance in anterior lateral occipital cortex can impair hippocampal mnemonic discrimination. Neuron, 101: 360-362.


Frithsen A, Stark SM, & Stark CEL (2018). Response bias, recollection, and familiarity in individuals with Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory (HSAM). Memory,

Stark SM, Frithsen A, Mattfeld AT, & Stark CEL (2018) Modulation of associative learning in the hippocampal-striatal circuit based on item-set similarity. Cortex, 109: 60-73.

Bennett IJ, Stark SM, & Stark CEL (2018) Recognition memory dysfunction relates to hippocampal subfield volume: A study of cognitively normal and mildly impaired older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences,


Stark SM & Stark CEL (2017) Age-related deficits in the mnemonic similarity task for objects and scenes. Behavioral Brain Research,

Stark SM, Reagh ZM, Yassa MA, & Stark CEL (2017) What’s in a context? Cautions, limitations, and potential paths forward. Neuroscience Letters,

Nikolova S, Stark SM, & Stark CEL (2017) 3T hippocampal glutamate-glutamine complex reflects verbal memory decline in aging. Neurobiology of Aging, DOI:


LePort AKR, Stark SM, McGaugh JL, & Stark CEL (2016).  A cognitive assessment of Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory.  Memory, doi: 10.1080/09658211.2016.1160126

Saletin JM, Goldstein-Piekarski AN, Greer SM, Stark S, Stark CEL, & Walker MP (2016). Human Hippocampal Structure: A Novel Biomarker Predicting Mnemonic Vulnerability to, and Recovery from, Sleep Deprivation. Journal of Neuroscience, 36(8): 2355-2363, doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3466-15.2016

LePort AKR, Stark SM, McGaugh JL, & Stark CEL (2016) Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory: Quality and quantity of retention over time. Frontiers in Psychology, 6:2017. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2015.02017.


Stark SM, Stevenson R, Wu C, Rutledge S, & Stark CEL (2015). Stability of age-related deficits in the mnemonic similarity task across task variations. Behavioral Neuroscience, 129(3): 257-268.  [Supplemental data PDF]

Allen T, Morris AM, Stark SM, Fortin NJ, & Stark CEL (2015). Memory for sequences of events impaired in typical aging. Learning and Memory, DOI:10.1101/lm.036301.114.


Stark SM, Yassa MA, Lacy JW, & Stark CEL (2013). A task to assess behavioral pattern separation (BPS) in humans: Data from healthy aging and mild cognitive impairment. Neuropsychologia, doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.12.014

Azab M, Stark SM, & Stark CEL (2013). A domain agnostic role for the dentate gyrus in pattern separation: Evidence from a temporal and spatial associative learning task using high-resolution fMRI. Hippocampus, 24(3):293-302.

Segal SK, Stark SM, Kattan D, Stark CEL, & Yassa MA (2012) Norepinephrine-mediated emotional arousal facilitates subsequent pattern separation. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 97(4): 465-469.

Yassa MA, Mattfeld, AT, Stark SM, & Stark CEL (2011) Age-related memory deficits linked to circuit-specific disruptions in the hippocampus. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 108(21), 8873-8878.

Lacy JW, Yassa MA, Stark SM, Muftuler LT, & Stark CEL (2011) Distinct pattern separation related transfer functions in human CA1 and CA3/DG revealed using high-resolution fMRI and mnemonic similarity. Learning and Memory, 18: 15-18.

Yassa MA, Wu J, Stark SM, Albert MS, Gallagher M, & Stark CEL (2011) Pattern separation deficits associated with increased hippocampal CA3 and dentate gyrus activity in nondemented older adults. Hippocampus, 21(9):968-979.

Stark SM, Yassa MA, & Stark CEL (2010) Individual differences in spatial pattern separation performance associated with healthy aging in humans. Learning and Memory, 17(6), 284-288.

Yassa MA, Stark SM, Bakker A, Albert MS, Gallagher M, & Stark CEL (2010) High-resolution functional MRI of hippocampal CA3 and dentate gyrus in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment. NeuroImage, 51(3), 1242-1252.