Christopher R. Madan is an Assistant Professor in the School of Psychology at the University of Nottingham in Nottingham, UK. He completed his PhD in Psychology at the University of Alberta in 2014, including a visiting scientist position at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and followed by a postdoctoral research fellowship at Boston College. His research combines cognitive psychology approaches with neuroimaging techniques (fMRI, EEG) and computational modelling. He is particularly interested in investigating factors that make some experiences more memorable than others-including emotion, motivation, and pre-existing semantic knowledge-and how these influences can manifest in future decisions. He also specializes in characterizing inter-individual differences in brain morphology, particularly with respect to aging, dementia, and cognitive abilities.
Dr. Madan received a 2021 Early Career Award from the Psychonomic Society and a 2017 Rising Star award from the Association for Psychological Science. He is a Fellow of the Psychonomic Society and AdvanceHE and has been elected to the membership of the Memory Disorders Research Society. He is currently an associate editor for Behavior Research Methods and a consulting editor for Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, along with other editorial roles, particularly with the Journal of Open Source Software and Collabra: Psychology. Dr. Madan has published over 100 journal articles and three books: An Introduction to Matlab for Behavioural Researchers (2014, Sage), Academia and the World Beyond (2021, Springer), and Memories that Matter (2022, Routledge).
I study memory using a combination of cognitive psychology, neuroimaging, and computational modeling methods. I am particularly interested in investigating factors that make some experiences more memorable than others-including emotion, motivation, and pre-existing semantic knowledge-and how these influences can manifest in future decisions. I also specialize in characterizing inter-individual differences in brain morphology, particularly with respect to healthy aging and mental health conditions.
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 further demonstrate their importance.
I conduct research across a variety of topics, including emotional memory, risky decision-making, and embodied cognition. I study these topics using behavioral paradigms, as well as fMRI, EEG, and structural MRI. Additionally, some studies involve computational modeling--either in the form of advanced statistical methods and machine learning, or through the development of specific models designed to distinguish between particular theoretical hypotheses. For more details on projects explicitly designed for methods development, see here.
MADAN, CHRISTOPHER R., SPETCH, MARCIA L., MACHADO, FERNANDA M. D. S., MASON, ALICE and LUDVIG, ELLIOT A., 2021. Encoding Context Determines Risky Choice PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE. 32(5), 743-754
PALOMBO, DANIELA J., TE, ALESSANDRA A., CHECKNITA, KATHERINE J. and MADAN, CHRISTOPHER R., 2021. Exploring the Facets of Emotional Episodic Memory: Remembering "What," "When," and "Which" PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE. 32(7), 1104-1114