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Kent Kiehl


Photo: Kent Kiehl
(505) 925-4516
Mind Research Network, 1101 Yale Blvd NE (north campus of UNM)
Ph.D., University of British Columbia, 2000
Personal Website
Lab Website
Curriculum vitae

Research Area/s:

Cognition, Brain and Behavior

Research Interests:

  • Psychopathy (aka psychopathic personality): - Assessment of psychopathy using self-report, caregiver/collateral informant reports, expert-rater devices (i.e., Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised (Hare PCl-R)). - Training Clinicians/Students to use the Hare Psychopathy Checklist-Revised - Implications of psychopathy for the legal system (i.e., recidivism, treatment outcomes, risk assessments) - Treatment for psychopathy - Neuroscience of psychopathy
  • Cognitive Neuroscience - Utility of neuroimaging techniques to inform psychiatric illnesses (i.e., schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, ADHD) - Methods of Cognitive Neuroscience - Training students/clinicians in neuroimaging methods
  • Neuroscience and Law - State and Federal Judge education on Neuroscience and/or Psychopathy and/or Schizophrenia - Legal consultant on cases of neuroscience and/or psychopathy in the legal system
  • Cetacean Cognition - using EEG/brain waves to assess cognitive function in dolphins and whales

Selected Publications

  • Kiehl, K.A. (2014). The Psychopath Whisperer: The science of those without conscience. Crown Publishing, A division of Random House.

  • Cope, L.M., Ermer, E., Gaudet, L.M., Eckhardt, A.L., Caldwell, M.F., Calhoun, V.D. & Kiehl, K.A. (2014). Abnormal brain structure in youth who commit homicide.  Neuroimage: Clinical, 4, 800-807.

  • Aharoni, E., Vincent, G., Harenski, C., Calhoun, V.D., Sinnott-Armstrong, W., Gazzaniga, M.S., & Kiehl, K.A. (2013). Neuroprediction of future re-arrest.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS), 110 (15), 6223-6228.

  • Decety, J., Skelly, L.R., & Kiehl, K.A. (in press). Brain response to empathy-eliciting scenarios in incarcerated psychopaths.  Archives of General Psychiatry

  • Ly, M, Kirk, G.R., Newman, J.P., Kiehl, K.A., & Koenigs, M.  (2012). Cortical thinning in psychopathy.  American Journal of Psychiatry, 169 (7), 684-687.

  • Anderson, N.E. & Kiehl, K.A. (2012). The psychopath magnetized: Insights from brain imaging. Trends in Cognitive Science (TICS), 16 (1), 52-60.

  • Ermer, E.  Kahn, R., Salovey, P. & Kiehl, K.A. (2012). Emotional intelligence in incarcerated men with psychopathic traits.  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 103 (1), 194-204.

  • Ermer, E., Cope, L.M., Nyalakanti, P.K., Calhoun, V.D., & Kiehl, K.A. (2012).  Aberrant paralimbic gray matter in criminal psychopathy. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 121 (3), 649-658.

Courses Taught

  • Psychology, Neuroscience and Law Undergraduate/Graduate Seminar (Psychology 450/650) ** Offered Fall 2013

  • Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience Undergraduate/Graduate Seminar (Psychology 450/650; offered every other year)

  • Introduction to Neuroimaging Analysis (Psychology 450/650).

  • Psychology, Neuroscience and Law Laboratory (Psychology 335L)


Graduate Students:

Graduate Students

Samantha Fede, BS, Virginia Tech

Julia Lushing, J.D., Cardozo Benjamin School of Law

Charles 'Sam' Robinson, M.A. University of Pennsylvania

Michael Maurer, B.A. University of California Davis

*Dr. Kiehl reviews graduate student applications in clinical and cognitive areas every year.

Mobile MRI Core and Clinical Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory

Program Manager

Ebany Martinez-Finley, Ph.D, Vanderbilt University

Administrative Assistant

Kayla Peterson

Assistant Professor of Translational Neuroscience

Carla Harenski, Ph.D, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Post Doctoral Fellow

Nathaniel Anderson, Ph.D, Baylor University

Vaughn Steele, Ph.D, University of Minnesota

Simone Viljoen, Ph.D, Simon Fraser University

RESEARCH STAFF (by project):

Mobile MRI Manager

Keith Harenski, BS, LaRoche College

Research Programmer

Prashanth Nyalakanti, MS, Louisiana Tech University

Vikram Rao, MS, University of Texas at Arlington

ERP/fMRI staff

Michael Miller, BS, University of Pittsburgh

Michael Maurer, BA, University of California, Davis

Leah Efferson  BA., Hiram College in Ohio 

Adult Male Psychopathy/Substance Abuse

Michael Miller, BS, University of Pittsburgh (Coordinator)

Tomas Segovia, BA, University of New Mexico

Christopher Lee, BS, University of New Mexico

Leah Efferson,  BA, Hiram College in Ohio 

Aleice Vujnovich, BS from University of Wisconsin – Madison, (WI staff)

Socio Moral

Leah Efferson,  B.A., Hiram College in Ohio 

Aleice Vujnovich, (WI staff)

Adult Female Psychopathy/Substance Abuse

Alex Eckhardt, University of New Mexico 


Matt Widdows, MA, University of New Mexico

Database Team

Laura Meeks, New Mexico State University (Team Lead)

Devyn Folk, University of New Mexico

Ph.D. Lab Alumni

Eyal Aharoni, Ph.D, University of California, Santa Barbara

Elsa Ermer, Ph.D, University of California, Santa Barbara

Lora Cope, Ph.D. The University of New Mexico