Dr. Chris Fiacconi

Chris headshot

My current research program is centered broadly on understanding the interplay between memory and affect. In particular, I am interested in how affective information can inform memory judgments in healthy participants, and how these processes may be disturbed in different neurological patient populations. One of my current research projects examines the role of affect in person recognition impairments observed in patients with neurodegenerative dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease, Lewy Body Dementia). In this project, we are using psychophysiological measures including skin conductance response (SCR), facial electromyography (EMG), and electrocardiography (ECG), to determine whether these recognition impairments are related to a reduction in the capacity to generate an appropriate affective signal. We are also using these psychophysiological measures to probe the extent of preserved emotional responses in patients with disorders of consciousness (i.e., Persistent Vegetative State). My research in healthy adults is focused on understanding how affective information is related to subjective experience in the context of memory decisions. Much of this work is centered on the question of how affective information contributes to various metacognitive experiences (i.e. “feelings of knowing”, etc.).

(click here to read about other current lab members)


H.BSc, Psychology, The University of Western Ontario

PhD, Psychology, McMaster University


Fiacconi, C.M., & Owen, A.M. (submitted). Using facial electromyography to detect preserved emotional processing in the vegetative state. Clinical Neurophysiology.

Fiacconi, C.M., & Kӧhler, S. (submitted). Are there feelings in feelings-of-knowing? Psychological Science.

Fiacconi, C.M., Cali, J., Milliken, B., & Lupianez, J. (submitted). Coordinating the interaction between past and present: the relationship between visual working memory for feature bindings and subsequent action. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology.

Fiacconi, C.M., Peter, E.L., Owais, S., & Köhler, S. (in press). Knowing by heart: visceral  feedback shapes recognition memory judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General.

Fiacconi, C.M., Dekraker, J., Kӧhler, S. (2015). Psychophysiological evidence for the role of emotion in adaptive memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 144, 925-933.

Fiacconi, C.M., Owen, A.M. (2015). Using psychophysiological measures to examine the temporal profile of verbal humor elicitation. PLoS ONE. 10(9): e0135902. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0135902

Cali, J., Fiacconi, C.M., & Milliken B. (2015). A response-binding effect in visual short-term memory. Visual Cognition, 23, 489-515.

Fiacconi, C.M., Barkley, V., Duke, D., Finger, E.C., Rosenbaum, R.S., Carson, N., Gilboa, A., & Köhler, S. (2014). Nature and extent of person recognition impairments associated with Capgras Syndrome in Lewy Body Dementia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 8, 726.

Duke, D., Fiacconi, C. M., & Köhler, S. (2014).  Parallel effects of perceptual fluency and positive affect on familiarity-based recognition memory for faces.  Frontiers in Psychology, 5(328).

Fiacconi, C.M., & Milliken, B. (2013).  Visual memory for feature bindings: the disruptive effects of responding to new perceptual input.  Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 66, 1572-1600.

Fiacconi, C.M., Harvey, E.C., Sekuler, A.B., & Bennett, P.J. (2013). The influence of aging on audio-visual temporal order judgments.  Experimental Aging Research, 39, 179-193.

Fiacconi, C.M., & Milliken, B. (2012). Contingency Blindness: location-identity binding mismatches obscure awareness of spatial contingencies and produce profound interference in visual working memory.  Memory & Cognition, 40, 932-945.

 Fiacconi, C.M., & Milliken, B. (2011). On the role of attention in generating explicit awareness of contingent relations: evidence from spatial priming.  Consciousness & Cognition, 20, 1433-1451.

Vaquero, J.M.M., Fiacconi, C.M., & Milliken, B. (2010).  Attention, awareness of contingencies, and control in spatial localization: a qualitative difference approach.  Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, 36, 1342-1357.

Jansen, P.A., Fiacconi, C.M., & Gibson, L.C. (2010).  A computational vector-map model of neonate saccades: modeling the externality effect through refraction periods.  Vision Research, 50, 2551-2558.

Book Chapters

Milliken, B., & Fiacconi, C.M. (in press). Event integration, awareness, and short-term remembering. In D.S. Lindsay, C.M. Kelley, & A.P. Yonelinas (Eds.) Remembering: Attributions, Processes, and Control in Human Memory. New York: Psychology Press.

Martin, C.B., Fiacconi, C.M., & Kӧhler, S. (in press). Déjà vu: A window into understanding the cognitive neuroscience of familiarity. In Duarte, A., Barense, M., & Addis, D.R.  (Eds.), Handbook on the Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory. Wiley-Blackwell.