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Brock Kirwan

Professor, Psychology

1074 KMBL

Dr. Kirwan is interested in how the brain forms and retains long-term declarative memories and how we use those memories to guide future actions. He uses functional MRI (fMRI), event-related potentials, and behavioral testing techniques in his research. More information about the Kirwan lab can be found at

Research Interests

I study the brain mechanisms that allow people to form and retain memories of events. This includes big events, like your wedding or your sixth birthday, as well as more mundane information, like where you parked your car or what the word "doughnut" means. One question that occupies much of my time is this: What information will we forget, and why? To address this and other questions, my students and I use a number of methods, including neuropsychological studies with memory-impaired patients, behavioral studies with healthy adults, and functional neuroimaging (fMRI) experiments. Our fMRI experiments are conducted at the new MRI Research Facility on BYU campus.


  • PhD, Psychological and Brain Sciences , Johns Hopkins University (2006)
  • MA, Psychology , Johns Hopkins University (2004)
  • BS, Philosophy , University of Utah (2001)
  • BS, Psychology , University of Utah (2001)

Honors and Awards

  • Alcuin Fellowship, BYU Honors Program (2021 - 2024)
  • Karl G. Maeser Excellence in Teaching Award, Brigham Young University (2020 - 2020)

Administrative Assignments

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Facility: Director (2016 - Present)
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Facility: Associate Director (2013 - 2015)