Lab Updates

Collaborative imagination synchronizes representations of the future and fosters social connection in the present

Collaborative imagination synchronizes representations of the future and fosters social connection in the present

New paper out in PNAS!

“The present studies provide a framework for investigating imagination as a collaborative process in which individuals cocreate shared representations of hypothetical events—what we call collaborative imagination. Across two preregistered studies (N=244), we provide evidence that collaborative imagination of a shared future fosters social connection in novel dyads—beyond imagining a shared future individually or shared experience in general. Subjective ratings and natural language processing of participants’ imagined narratives illuminate the representational features of imagined events shaped by collaborative imagination.”

CSBBCS Satellite Meeting on Narrative Approaches to Studying Memory

CSBBCS Satellite Meeting on Narrative Approaches to Studying Memory

We are organizing a satellite meeting on Narrative Approaches to Studying Memory at the Canadian Society for Brain, Behavior, & Cognitive Science which will take place from 8am-1pm on June 25 in Edmonton, Canada.

In this satellite meeting, we will discuss the most popular technological advances used in the field of autobiographical memory, and how they can be leveraged to advance theoretical models of memory. We additionally highlight some of the pitfalls of current methodologies.

Liverpool careers talk

Dr. Madan will be giving the keynote presentation at the Liverpool Neuroscience Group’s event on Careers Beyond Academia, based on his work on the Academia and the World Beyond research.

Memories That Matter

Memories That Matter is out!

What makes some experiences more memorable than others? How can you better remember specific information later? Memories That Matter addresses these questions and more.

The book is intended for senior-level undergraduate course, graduate seminar, as well as for researchers.

New book chapter

The second edition of The Fractal Geometry of the Brain just came out!

I am delighted to have contributed to revising one of the chapters, Fractal Dimension Analysis in Neurological Disorders: An Overview, along with collaborators in Germany and Spain.

Post-PhD career path categorisation

This is the first paper that extends the Academia and the World Beyond book series.

Here I conducted a heirarchical qualitative classification analysis on the 53 interviews to give students a better guide on which interviews/career journeys are relevant to them. This analysis also yielded insights into different categories of career paths, based on the types of skills they rely on.

Academia and the World Beyond, Vol. 2

This book is a collection of 31 interviews with those who have completed a PhD and are now in a non-academic role. Interviewees provide background into their PhD topic and discuss how they transitioned to their current position, including what additional training was necessary and how their PhD training has helped them succeed.


Dr. Madan gave an invited talk at the European Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology in Bressanone, Italy as part of a symposium on language and memory.

“Historically, memory and language have often been seen as separate cognitive functions and studied in isolation, hindering cross-domain knowledge transfer. However, understanding their relation and possible functional overlap could be fruitful for advancing the field of cognitive (neuro)science more broadly. This is easier said than done: It is not entirely clear if the two domains can be integrated and, critically, if so, how. During the symposium, we will discuss the extent to which the language and memory systems overlap and which approaches and methodology are likely to bring clarity to this question (e.g., what roles do neural measures or neuropsychological evidence have to play in guiding the answers).”

A featured article in Cognitive Neuropsychology is forthcoming.

Psychonomic Program Committee

Dr. Madan has begun a 2-year term on the Psychonomic Society Program Committee.

“The Program Committee oversees aspects of the conference related to the program. This committee interfaces with the Secretary to adjudicate issues concerning submissions and acceptances. The committee also is free to develop and propose ideas concerning any aspect of the conference that it deems necessary and appropriate. The Program Committee selects symposia for the Annual Meeting and recommends their selections for a vote of the Governing Board. They also select winners from applicants for Graduate Conference Awards, previously the Graduate Travel Awards.”

Research on road users and potential accidents

Project lead, Dr. Karl Miller: “We know from previous research that road users have many near crash incidents on a regular basis, with some road users being more exposed to these than others. However there is little evidence to really identify where these near crashes happen. We want people to help us collect these data so that we can have a greater understanding of exactly where and how often near crashes are happening and pinpoint those particularly dangerous hotspots that could eventually lead to a serious accident occurring.”

The effects of emotion on retrospective duration memory using virtual reality

The effects of emotion on retrospective duration memory using virtual reality

New virtual reality study published, led by Omran Safi and Dr. Daniela Palombo.

“While emotion generally enhances some aspects of memory, temporal duration has been shown to be particularly susceptible to emotion-induced distortions. However, prior work has faced difficulty when studying this phenomenon, having to make some trade-offs on ecological validity or experimental control. Here, we sought to bridge this gap by studying the effects of emotion on temporal duration memory using virtual reality.”

Memory Can Define Individual Beliefs and Identity—and Shape Society

New paper in Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences!

“Memory profoundly define individual beliefs and identity, shaping how societies make decisions. Five key memory phenomena include—first impressions and the primacy effect, risky decision-making and memory availability, information reliability and source memory, music preferences and the reminiscence bump, and long-term planning and episodic future thinking.”