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About Christopher Warren

I am interested in how the brain optimizes cognitive performance under varying circumstances. Anyone who has made a puzzlingly poor decision in a stressful moment realizes that the brain works differently in different contexts. I study the neuromodulatory actions underlying these differences. Neuromodulators such as norepinephrine and dopamine change the way that neurons communicate with each other. My research focuses on how these neuromodulatory systems mediate the impact of factors such as arousal/stress, environmental uncertainty, and motivational salience on learning, attention, and decision making. The central thesis of my work is that these neuromodulators tune cognition adaptively in a range of situations. I study the activity of neuromodulators in healthy human volunteers in several ways that can be grouped into two general approaches: (1) direct manipulation of neuromodulator levels in humans such as with psychopharmacology; and (2) indirectly inferring neuromodulator activity through biomarkers sensitive to varying neuromodulator levels.

Positions

Present Assistant Professor, Utah State University Psychology
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Curriculum Vitae



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Articles (18)

Presentations (26)