Professor Ian James Kirk

PhD (Otago)

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Ian obtained his PhD degree in Psychology and Neuroscience from University of Otago. Subsequent to his PhD he held post-doctoral fellowships at the Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience at the University of Calgary in Canada, and at the Centre for Complex Systems and Brain Sciences at Florida Atlantic in the USA.

He has been a staff member in Psychology at the University of Auckland since 2000, is co-director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging, Neuroplasticity and Neurodevelopment laboratory, and is Associate Director of the Centre Brain Research.

Research | Current

Ian is interested in

  • The neural systems involved in memory and attentional processes, and the genetic mechanisms that modulate development of, and activity in, these systems
  • Cerebral asymmetries
  • Music perception and production
  • Plastic neural processes involved in memory.

He employs functional (EEG and fMRI) and structural (DTI) imaging to investigate the temporal and spatial neurodynamics, and the anatomical substrates, of cognitive processes.

Ian is also interested in atypical processing in a number of disorders (e.g. Alzheimer’s disease, depression, schizophrenia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Parkinson’s disease). Ian’s research has been supported by HRC, Marsden, NIH (USA), Neurological Foundation, and AMRF.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

  • Co-director of the Cognitive Neuroimaging, Neuroplasticity and Neurodevelopment laboratory
  • Associate Director of the Centre Brain Research

Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

  • Moreau, D., Kirk, I. J., & Waldie, K. E. (2017). High-intensity training enhances executive function in children in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial. eLife, 6.10.7554/eLife.25062
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: David Moreau, Karen Waldie
  • Smallwood, N., Spriggs, M. J., Thompson, C. S., Wu, C. C., Hamm, J. P., Moreau, D., & Kirk, I. J. (2015). Influence of physical activity on human sensory long-term potentiation. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 21 (10), 831-840. 10.1017/S1355617715001095
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Hamm, Meg Spriggs, David Moreau
  • Lamb, Y. N., McKay, N. S., Thompson, C. S., Hamm, J. P., Waldie, K. E., & Kirk, I. J. (2015). Brain-derived neurotrophic factor Val66Met polymorphism, human memory, and synaptic neuroplasticity. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 6 (2), 97-108. 10.1002/wcs.1334
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Hamm, Karen Waldie, Nicole Mckay
  • Clapp, W. C., Hamm, J. P., Kirk, I. J., & Teyler, T. J. (2012). Translating long-term potentiation from animals to humans: A novelmethod for noninvasive assessment of cortical plasticity. Biological Psychiatry, 71 (6), 496-502. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2011.08.021
  • Iwabuchi, S. J., Häberling IS, Badzakova-Trajkov, G., Patston, L. L. M., Waldie, K. E., Tippett, L. J., ... Kirk, I. J. (2011). Regional differences in cerebral asymmetries of human cortical white matter. Neuropsychologia, 49 (13), 3599-3604. 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.09.011
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Karen Waldie, Gjurgjica Badzakova Trajkov
  • Lambert, A. J., Good, K. S., & Kirk, I. J. (2010). Testing the repression hypothesis: effects of emotional valence on memory suppression in the think - no think task. Conscious Cogn, 19 (1), 281-293. 10.1016/j.concog.2009.09.004
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Anthony Lambert
  • Kirk, I. J., McNair, N. A., Hamm, J. P., Clapp, W. C., Mathalon, D. H., Cavus, I., & Teyler, T. J. (2010). Long-term potentiation (LTP) of human sensory-evoked potentials. Wiley Interscience On-line Reviews, 1 (5), 766-773. 10.1002/wcs.62
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jeffrey Hamm
  • O'Connor K, & Kirk, I. J. (2009). Brief Report: Atypical Social Cognition and Social Behaviours in Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Different Way of Processing Rather than an Impairment. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38 (10), 1989-1997. 10.1007/s10803-008-0559-5

Contact details

Primary office location

Level 6, Room 651
New Zealand