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:

Memory & Decision Making

I study memory and decision making using a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroimaging, and computational modeling methods. I am particularly interested in what factors makes some experiences more memorable than others and how these influences can manifest in decision making.

Memory for past experiences can be used to inform future behavior. However, not all experiences are equally informative for future behavior–in part because some experiences are more memorable than others. Although many factors can influence memorability, it is well known that both emotion and reward influence memory. Their effects are often studied independently, but in my own work, I seek to advance our understanding of these distinct effects on memory, but also to investigate commonalities in their effects, with the goal of understanding domain-general modulation of memory for motivationally salient information. Although biases can provide insight into the functional role of memory, how these biases manifest in decision-making furthers demonstrate their importance.

Recent Publications

Madan, C. R, & Kensinger, E. A. (in press). Age-related differences in the structural complexity of subcortical and ventricular structures. Neurobiology of Aging. doi:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2016.10.023

Nankoo, J.-F., Madan, C. R., Spetch, M. L., & Wylie, D. R. (in press). Sensitivity of the avian motion system to light and dark stimuli. Experimental Brain Research. doi:10.1007/s00221-016-4786-2

Madan, C. R., Ludvig, E. A., & Spetch, M. L. (in press). The role of memory in distinguishing risky decisions from experience and description. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. doi:10.1080/17470218.2016.1220608

Madan, C. R.*, Shafer, A. T.*, Chan, M., & Singhal, A. (in press). Shock and awe: Distinct effects of taboo words on lexical decision and free recall. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. doi:10.1080/17470218.2016.1167925

Madan, C. R. (2016). Improved understanding of brain morphology through 3D printing: A brief guide. Research Ideas and Outcomes, 2, e10266. doi:10.3897/rio.2.e10266

Madan, C. R.*, Chen, Y. Y.*, & Singhal, A. (2016). ERPs differentially reflect automatic and deliberate processing of the functional manipulability of objects. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 10, 360. doi:10.3389/fnhum.2016.00360

An Introduction to MATLAB for Behavioral Researchers

Over the years I have trained many colleagues in using MATLAB for behavioral analyses. In doing so, I noticed many of the same issues arise, so I decided to write a book to guide people in learning MATLAB, beginning from no prior programmming experience. By using data from previously published papers and an incremental approach, I begin with the basics of conducting behavioral analyses in MATLAB to making publication-quality figures, writing your own functions, and advice on debugging. Some more advanced topics, such as basic eyetracking analyses, are also discussed.

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