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.

Motivated Memory

Being able to automatically prioritize memories that are relevant to future behavior is the fundamental purpose of memory. In our everyday lives, some memories are encoded and retrieved more readily, such as where we last left our car keys, the location of the nearest grocery store, and the experiences we had on our last vacation. These memory enhancements could each be viewed as domain-specific modulations of memory: functional objects, potential food sources, and enjoyable experiences. While it is possible that each of these effects is domain-specific, it is also possible that a domain-general mechanism is largely responsible for all three of these memory effects— a memory enhancement for motivationally salient information.

Motivated memory can be defined as how useful or salient information, such as those evoke reward, emotion, or motor processing, influences our ability to form memories of the past and make decisions in the future. I ask these questions using a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroimaging, and computational modeling approaches.

Recent Publications

Madan, C.R., & Kensinger, E. A. (in press). Cortical complexity as a measure of age-related brain atrophy. NeuroImage. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.04.029

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

Chan, M., Madan, C. R. & Singhal, A. (2016). The effects of taboo-related distraction on driving performance. Acta Psychologica, 168, 20-26. doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2016.03.010

Hrybouski, S., Aghamohammadi-Sereshki, A.*, Madan, C. R.*, Shafer, A. T.*, Baron, C. A., Seres, P., Beaulieu, C., Olsen, F., & Malykhin, N. (2016). Amygdala subnuclei response and connectivity during emotional processing. NeuroImage, 133, 98-110. doi:10.1016/j.neuroimage.2016.02.056

Legge, E. L. G., Madan, C. R., Spetch, M. L.. & Ludvig, E. A. (2016). Multiple cue use and integration in pigeons (Columba livia). Animal Cognition, 19, 581-591. doi:10.1007/s10071-016-0963-8

Madan, C. R., Spetch, M. L., & Ludvig, E. A. (2015). Rapid makes risky: Time pressure increases risk seeking in decisions from experience. Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 27, 921-928. doi:10.1080/20445911.2015.1055274


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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