Chris Fiacconi

Neuroscience & Applied Cognitive Science
519-824-4120 x 53386
MacKinnon Extension
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Undergraduate Advisor

Accepting Graduate Students: 
Accepting New Experiential Learning Students: 
Advising Area and Office Hours for Advising: 
BA Psychology and B.Sc. Psychology: Brain and Cognition. Office hours: Tues./Thurs. 12 pm - 1 pm

My research is primarily concerned with cognition-emotion interactions, with a particular focus on how our thoughts and feelings are implicitly shaped by external environmental cues, and internal bodily signals. This work involves a combinination of behavioural experiments and psychophysiological measures (skin conductance, cardiovascular measures, facial muscle activity, EEG/ERP), with the ultimate goal of linking underlying changes in physiology to subjective feeling states and corresponding behaviours.


2007 B.Sc. Psychology (University of Western Ontario)

2012 Ph.D. Psychology (McMaster University)

2012-2016 Post-doctoral Fellow (Brain and Mind Institute, University of Western Ontario)


The central theme of my research program concerns how humans use both internal (e.g., visceral) and external (e.g., environmental stimuli) cues to construct our experience of the world. Often times the true source of our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours lies outside of our awareness, implicitly shaping our experiences. Much of the work in our lab is focused on understanding which internal and external cues guide our experiences and behaviours, as well as the interpretive processes that mediate their influence. We are interested not only in how such cues shape traditional emotional experiences, but also how they inform our evaluations and judgments in the domains of memory and perception.

One approach that our lab is currently using involves combining behavioural experiments with psychophysiological measures (skin conductance, cardiovascular measures, facial muscle activity, EEG/ERP) to link underlying changes in physiology to subjective feeling states and corresponding behaviours. We are also interested in understanding how our ability to perceive bodily changes (i.e., interoception) may be related to constructive processes that utilize internal bodily cues to shape our experiences.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Fiacconi, C.M., Kouptsova, J.E., & Köhler, S. (2017). A role for visceral feeback and interoception in feelings-of-knowing. Consciousness & Cognition, 53, 70-80.

Fiacconi, C.M., & Owen, A.M. (2016). Using facial electromyography to detect preserved emotional processing in the vegetative state: A proof-of-principle study. Clinical Neurophysiology, 127, 3000-3006.

Fiacconi, C.M., Peter, E.L., Owais, S., & Köhler, S. (2016). Knowing by heart: visceral autonomic feedback shapes recognition memory judgments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 145, 559-572.

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. 

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 

Martin, C.B., Fiacconi, C.M., & Kӧhler, S. (2015). 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.

Milliken, B., & Fiacconi, C.M. (2014). 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.


Winter 2017 - PSYC 2650 (Cognitive Psychology)

Fall 2017 - PSYC 3290 (Conducting Statistical Analyses in Psychology)

Winter 2018 - PSYC 2650 (Cognitive Psychology); PSYC 3290 (Conducting Statistical Analyses in Psychology)

Fall 2018 - PSYC 3290 (Conducting Statistical Analyses in Psychology); PSYC 6940 (Discrete Variable Research Design & Statistics)

Winter 2019 - PSYC 2650 (Cognitive Psychology); PSYC 6790 (Memory & Cognition)