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:

  • Development of Behavior Prediction Models: - Utility of brain structure and function in predicting outcomes such as recidivism, treatment success, and relapse to substance use. Effectively predicting complex behavioral outcomes such as recidivism might prove to be a key factor in choosing appropriate intervention strategies based on physical characteristics of the brain and its function.
  • 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


Accepting students?  Dr. Kiehl may be accepting students for Fall 2024.  Please email Dr. Kiehl if you are interested in pursuing graduate studies.

Kent Kiehl’s laboratory has worked diligently along with correctional facilities in New Mexico and beyond to establish the world’s largest database of brain data from incarcerated populations.  We utilize a state of the art mobile scanning unit which can be deployed to remote locations, reaching populations for which functional brain imaging might otherwise be impossible or severely impractical.  These resources and relationships have been instrumental in the investigation of mental health issues that are particularly prevalent in those who are incarcerated, including psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, substance abuse, and externalizing disorders. We maintain several ongoing projects with an overall goal of achieving a better understanding of the interaction between brain function, genetics, and environmental factors ultimately informing improved interventions and prevention strategies and promoting better mental health as a whole.

Selected Publications

Kiehl, K.A., Anderson, N.E., Aharoni, E., Maurer, J.M., Harenski, K.A., Rao, V., Claus, E.D., Harenski, C., Koenigs, M., Decety, J. & Kosson, D., 2018. Age of gray matters: Neuroprediction of recidivism. NeuroImage: Clinical, 19, 813-823.

Crooks, D., Anderson, N. E., Widdows, M., Petseva, N., Koenigs, M., Pluto, C., & Kiehl, K. A. (2018). The relationship between cavum septum pellucidum and psychopathic traits in a large forensic sample. Neuropsychologia, 112, 95-104.

Edwards, B. G., Ermer, E., Salovey, P., & Kiehl, K. A. (2018). Emotional intelligence in incarcerated female offenders with psychopathic traits. Journal of Personality Disorders, 1-24.

Steele, V.R., Maurer, J.M., Arbabshirani, M.R., Claus, E.D., Fink, B.C., Rao, V., Calhoun, V.D. & Kiehl, K.A., 2018. Machine learning of functional magnetic resonance imaging network connectivity predicts substance abuse treatment completion. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, 3, 141-149.

Vincent, G. M., Cope, L. M., King, J., Nyalakanti, P., & Kiehl, K. A. (2018). Callous-unemotional traits modulate brain drug craving response in high-risk young offenders. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 46(5), 993-1009.

Calhoun, V.D., Wager, T.D., Krishnan, A., Rosch, K.S., Seymour, K.E., Nebel, M.B., Mostofsky, S.H., Nyalakanai, P. & Kiehl, K., 2017. The impact of T1 versus EPI spatial normalization templates for fMRI data analyses. Human Brain Mapping, 38, 5331-5342.

Thijssen, S., & Kiehl, K. A. (2017). Functional connectivity in incarcerated male adolescents with psychopathic traits. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 265, 35-44.

Vergara, V. M., Mayer, A. R., Damaraju, E., Kiehl, K. A., & Calhoun, V. (2017). Detection of mild traumatic brain injury by machine learning classification using resting state functional network connectivity and fractional anisotropy. Journal of Neurotrauma, 34(5), 1045-1053.

Gaudet, L. M., Kerkmans, J. P., Anderson, N. E., & Kiehl, K. A. (2016). Can neuroscience help predict future antisocial behavior? Fordham L. Rev., 85, 503.

Aharoni, E., Vincent, G. M., Harenski, C. L., Calhoun, V. D., Sinnott-Armstrong, W., Gazzaniga, M. S., & Kiehl, K. A. (2013). Neuroprediction of future rearrest. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 110, 6223–6228.

Courses Taught

  • Psychology, Neuroscience and Law Undergraduate/Graduate Seminar (Psychology 450/650)

  • 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 450L)




Program Manager/ Assistant Professor of Translational Neuroscience:

Carla Harenski, Ph.D, Emory University

Assistant Professor of Translational Neuroscience:

Nathaniel Anderson, Ph.D, Baylor University

Post-Doctoral Fellows:

Fadwa Cazala, Ph.D, Paris Descartes University

Jessica Carre, Ph.D, The University of Texas at El Paso

Graduate Students:

Bethany Edwards, M.A., University of South Florida; B.A. Purdue University

Devin Ulrich, M.S., University of New Mexico, B.S. Duke University

Mobile MRI Manager:

Keith Harenski, B.S., LaRoche College

Research Analyst/Programmer:

Prashanth Nyalakanti, M.S., Louisiana Tech University

Research Staff - New Mexico:

Nanda Sankarasubramanian, M.A., University of Hartford (Adult Forensic Studies Coordinator)

Matthew Widdows, M.A., University of New Mexico (Data Manager)

Meghan Gonsalves, Sci.M., Brown University (Juvenile Outcomes Study Coordinator)

Amanda Cook, B.S., University of North Carolina Wilmington

Brooke Reynolds, B.A., University of North Texas

PREP Scholar:

Ashly Sajous-Turner, B.A., State University of New York at Purchase College

Work Study/Student Volunteers:

Anastacia Romero

Brian Scott Miller

Sean Inocencio

Jordan Sampson

Jessica Mills

Arik Montoya

Taylor Lucero

Gaeli Weiss

Research Staff - Wisconsin:

Angela Whicher, B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Adult Forensic Studies Coordinator)

Radha Karthik, B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Paraphilia Study Coordinator)

Cassidy McBee, B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Juvenile Treatment Study Coordinator)

Mollie Ulm, B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison (Juvenile Treatment Study Coordinator)

Arielle Mitchell, B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Breckyn Ryg, B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Daniella Greenfield, B.S., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Brendan Caldwell, B.A., University of Minnesota Twin Cities

Mitchell Beard, B.A., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Ph.D. Lab Alumni:

Samantha Fede, Ph.D., The University of New Mexico

Vaughn Steele, Ph.D., Ph.D., University of Minnesota

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


Vince Calhoun, Ph.D., The Mind Research Network, University of New Mexico

Michael Koenigs, Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Michael Caldwell, Psy.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison, Mendota Juvenile Treatment Center

Jean Decety, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Eyal Aharoni, Ph.D., Georgia State University

David Kosson, Ph.D., Rosalind Franklin University

Eric Claus, Ph.D., The Mind Research Network

Katie Witkiewitz, Ph.D., University of New Mexico

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

Current Open Job Positions (visit to apply):

Post-Doctoral Fellow – Adult and Juvenile Forensic Research Studies

Post-Doctoral Fellow – Image Processing/”Big Data” Neuroscience

Clinical Research Coordinator – Mindfulness Treatment for Alcohol-Abusing Offenders

Research Assistant - Adult and Juvenile Forensic Research Studies

Administrative Assistant