photo credit: Justin Hackworth

Brock Kirwan

Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience Center
Director, MRI Research Facility
Brigham Young University

I am interested in how the brain forms long-term memories and how we use those memory representations to guide future decision making. I use a number of different methods in my research. These include neuropsychological studies with memory-impaired patients, behavioral tests with healthy adults, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI). Contact me at kirwan [at] byu [dot] edu if you are interested in participating in a study or in joining the lab.

Current Graduate Students

Jared McFarlane

Jared is pursuing a PhD in Neuroscience with an emphasis in memory and learning. He is from Boston, MA, and enjoys music, tabletop RPGs, and board sports in his free time.

Julie Van

Julie is a PhD student in the psychology program with an emphasis on cognitive and behavioral neuroscience. She hails from Southern California with a background in marketing and design, and currently lives in Utah with her astronomer husband, their baby, and two feline daughters.

Austin Schmidt

I’m a neuroscience major and will be graduating from BYU to move on to a PhD program in Neuroscience. I enjoy playing piano and guitar, fencing (the sport), video games, and being a contrarian.

Current Undergraduates

Sam Chipman

Sam is a Psychology undergrad with specific interests in memory and perception as they relate to deviant behavior. When not studying, he enjoys skiing, mountain biking, and honing his skills in the art of BBQ.

Katie Rugh

Katie is a social worker who is passionate about studying the relationship between the brain, learning, and executive function. She enjoys singing and attempting to do hip hop moves.

Sara Knowlton

Sara is a psychology major who is interested in anything and everything related to the brain and how it influences our behavior. In her free time, she loves drawing, spending time outside, and taking care of her plants. 

Alex Osmond

Alex is a Neuroscience major with a particular interest in neurochemistry. In her free time, she loves to swim, practice yoga, and explore the beautiful mountains of Utah.

Samantha Stabler

Samantha is a Neuroscience major and business minor. She loves learning and hopes to attend graduate school or a preprofessional program. Her extracurriculars include dancing, piano, running, and traveling as often as she can.

Caitlin McKinnon

Caitlin is a psychology undergrad who loves learning and discovering various research topics. She enjoys crocheting, backpacking, reading, and hammocking in her free time. She loves learning and is excited to pursue further education after her undergrad.

Michael Gnatiko

Michael is studying Biology here at BYU! He loves to learn new things and is curious about how the brain goes about memory and decision making.

Sophie Cranney

Sophie is a psychology undergrad whose primary area of interest is the impact of traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) on basic brain functions, such as memory and decision making. Having had a TBI herself, she hopes that she can use her experience to make an impact on other TBI victims. When she’s not working in the lab, Sophie enjoys running, hiking, singing, dancing, drawing, painting, and spending time with friends and family.

Erika Blaine

Erika is a neuroscience major. She is fascinated by the brain and wants to pursue a PhD in Neuroscience and hopefully teach afterwards. When she’s not delving into the intriguing world of minds, Erika loves playing the ukulele and cello, rock climbing, hiking, and has a fun-loving tenacity for anything that might spell adventure. She also enjoys breaking stereotypes for women & fellow southerners.

Lab Alumni

  • Michelle Yi (2023)
  • Morgan Chase, BS (2023)
  • Niels Turley, BS (2023)
  • Isaac Hamm, BS (2023)
  • Loriana Goulding, BS (2023)
  • Sam Nielsen, BS (2022)
  • Alice Wang, BS (2022)
  • Monica Clarke-Smith, BS (2022)
  • Sydney Wilden, BS (2022)
  • Ariana Hedges-Muncy, PhD (2021)
  • Cooper Hodges, PhD (2020)
  • Nathan Muncy, PhD (2020)
  • Emily Maxwell, BS (2022)
  • Clara Rodriguez, BS (2021)
  • Annelise Toolson, BS (2020)
  • Landon Dyer, BS (2020)
  • Daniel Asay, BS (2020)
  • Laurine Geraud-Carrier, BS (2019)
  • Dan Bjornn, PhD (2018)
  • Ty Bodily, MS (2018)
  • Ben Mahler, BS (2018)
  • Torin Kelley, BS (2018)
  • Elija Möller, BS (2018)
  • Caitlyn Towne, BS (2018)
  • Mia Felin, BS (2018)
  • Lauren Kauer, BS (2018)
  • Todd Winn, BS (2017)
  • Corinne DeVault, BS (2017)
  • Eric Brighton, BS (2017)
  • Jordan Clark, BS (2017)
  • Leila LaSueur, BS (2017)
  • Athena Howell, BS (2017)
  • Lindsay Westra, BS (2017)
  • Danyelle Morley, BS (2017)
  • Nathan Muncy, MS (2016)
  • Autumn Reay, BS (2016)
  • Malia Anderson, PhD (2016)
  • Chris Doxey, PhD (2016)
  • Michelle Nash, PhD (2015)
  • Brigham Wright, BS (2016)
  • Bryce Owen, BS (2016)
  • Cassie Widdison, BS (2016)
  • Haley Schuster, BS (2016)
  • Mary Jo Talley, BS (2016)
  • Kayla Alder, BS (2016)
  • Seth Spencer, BS (2016)
  • Mandi Ellgen, BS (2016)
  • Bengt Grua, BS (2015)
  • Briana Crook, BS (2015)
  • Storm Atwood, BS (2015)
  • Erika Vavrek, BS (2014)
  • Mary White, BS (2014)
  • Meaghan Gilmartin, BS (2014)
  • Alex Dresden, BS (2014)
  • Nathan Giles, BS (2014)
  • Emily White, BS (2014)
  • Jess James, PhD (2014)
  • Jeremy Carter, BS (2013)
  • Megan Oliver, BS (2013)
  • Matt Schneider, BS (2013)
  • Ariel Poulson, BS (2013)
  • Paul Morris, BS (2013)
  • Josh Freckleton, BS (2013)
  • Alex Doroshkin, BS (2013)
  • Ellen Ivory, BS (2013)
  • Rick Stone, BS (2013)
  • DJ Shelton, MS (2013)
  • Jeremy Williams, BS (2012)
  • Sarah Motley, MS (2012)
  • Brett Wilson, BS (2012)
  • David Lopez, BS (2012)
  • Josh Ruchty, BS (2012)
  • Marshall Rodel, BS (2012)
  • Quentin Smith, BS (2012)
  • Trace Stay, BS (2012)
  • Danny Jacobs, BS (2011)
  • Stefania Ashby, BS (2011)
  • Jeremy Roper, MS (2011)
  • Andrew Hartshorn, BS (2011)
  • Tim Austin, BS (2011)
  • Justin Forsyth, BS (2011)
  • Cary Crall, BS (2011)
  • Emily Wright, BS (2010)
  • Jon Hedges, BS (2010)
  • Andrew Lee, BS (2010)
  • Landon Hansen, BS (2010)