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My name is Christopher Madan and I am currently a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Elizabeth Kensinger at Boston College. If you want to email me, I can be contacted at: christopher.madan@bc.edu.

I received my PhD in Psychology from the University of Alberta. At the University of Alberta, I was supervised by Dr. Marcia Spetch (Psychology). I also work extensively with Dr. Jeremy Caplan (Psychology & Neuroscience) and Dr. Esther Fujiwara (Psychiatry & Neuroscience), Dr. Anthony Singhal (Psychology & Neuroscience), Dr. Tobias Sommer (University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, Systems Neuroscience) and Dr. Nikolai Malykhin (Psychiatry, Neuroscience, & Biomedical Engineering).

My primary research focus is how different types of memory are modulated by biologically relevant stimuli. Briefly, memory is generally enhanced for experiences that are emotional or rewarding, but sometimes these effects can simultaneous impairments for other types of memory, such as memory for associated information or memory for order. Furthermore, these 'memory biases' can also influence other cognitive processes such as decision making. Click here to read more about my research interests.

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Boston College - Psychology

Most Recent Publications

Chan, M., Madan, C. R., & Singhal, A. (2014). The effects of taboo-related distraction on driving performance. Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, 58, 1366-1370. doi:10.1177/1541931214581285


Ludvig, E. A., Madan, C. R., Pisklak, J. M., & Spetch, M. L. (2014). Reward context determines risky choice in pigeons and humans. Biology Letters, 10, 20140451. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2014.0451


Caplan, J. B., Madan, C. R., & Bedwell, D. J. (in press). Item properties may influence item-item associations in serial recall. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. doi:10.3758/s13423-014-0701-7


Baron, D. M., Ramirez, A. J., Bulitko, V., Madan, C. R., Greiner, A., Hurd, P. L., & Spetch, M. L. (in press). Practice makes proficient: Pigeons (Columba livia) learn efficient routes on full-circuit navigational traveling salesperson problems. Animal Cognition. doi:10.1007/s10071-014-0776-6


Madan, C. R. (2014). Manipulability impairs association-memory: Revisiting effects of incidental motor processing on verbal paired-associates. Acta Psychologica, 149, 45-51. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2014.03.002


Nankoo, J.-F., Madan, C. R., Spetch, M. L., & Wylie, D. R. (2014). Perception of complex motion in humans and pigeons (Columba livia). Experimental Brain Research, 232, 1843-1853. doi:10.1007/s00221-014-3876-2


Selected Press Coverage


I was recently interviewed by the Alberta Gambling Research Institute for their Summer 2014 newsletter, "The Influence of Reward Value on Memory and Decision-Making: Interview with Dr. Christopher Madan."

Read the interview

Risky Decisions in Pigeons and Humans

Discover Magazine Blog
British Psychological Society News
Daily Mail

Virtual Environments and the Method of Loci

British Psychological Society Research Digest
Smithsonian Magazine
Psychology Today
Scientific American MIND Guest Blog

An Introduction to MATLAB for Behavioral Researchers

MATLAB is a powerful data analysis program, but many behavioral science researchers find it too daunting to learn and use. An Introduction to MATLAB for Behavioral Researchers is an easy-to-understand, hands-on guide for behavioral researchers who have no prior programming experience. Written in a conversational and non-intimidating style, the author walks students--step by step--through analyzing real experimental data. Topics covered include the basics of programming, the implementation of simple behavioral analyses, and how to make publication-ready figures. More advanced topics such as pseudo-randomization of trial sequences to meet specified criteria and working with psycholinguistic data are also covered. Interesting behavioral science examples and datasets from published studies, such as visualizing fixation patterns in eye-tracking studies and animal search behavior in two-dimensional space, help develop an intuition for data analysis, which is essential and can only be developed when working with real research problems and real data.

Click here for more information.