David Madden, Ph.D.[Edit Page]

Professor, Psychiatry

Ph.D., 1977, University of California, Davis (Psychology)

Research Interests

Age-related changes in cognitive function and their relation to structural and functional changes in the brain.

Resesarch Statement

My research has focused primarily on the cognitive neuroscience of aging: the investigation of age-related changes in perception, attention, and memory, using both behavioral measures and neuroimaging techniques, including positron emission tomography (PET), functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI).

Within this framework, I have been particularly interested in behavioral measures using reaction time, with the goal of distinguishing age-related changes in specific cognitive abilities from more general effects arising from a slowing in elementary perceptual processes. The cognitive abilities of interest include selective attention as measured in visual search tasks, semantic and episodic memory retrieval, and executive control processes. The influence of health status variables, such as hypertension, on cognitive function, has also been a theme of this research.

In collaboration with BIAC members, and individuals from the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Aging Center, and the Departments of Radiology, and Psychology and Neuroscience, I have been investigating age-related changes in cortical activation, from fMRI, in the context of specific cognitive tasks. We have also been obtaining measures of cerebral white matter integrity, from DTI, with the goal of understanding the age-related structural changes in white matter and their role in cortical activation and cognitive performance.

Duke University Academic Affiliations

Professor of Medical Psychology, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center (Primary)

Professor, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University (Secondary)

Recent Representative Publications


Bennett IJ & Madden DJ (2014). Disconnected aging: Cerebral white matter integrity and age-related differences in cognition. Neuroscience. 276C: 187-205.


Madden DJ, Parks EL, Davis SW, Diaz MT, Potter GG, Chou YH, Chen NK & Cabeza R (2014). Age mediation of frontoparietal activation during visual feature search. NeuroImage. 102: 262-274.


Chou YH, Chen NK & Madden DJ (2013, In Press). Functional brain connectivity and cognition: effects of adult age and task demands. Neurobiology of Aging.

Madden DJ, Bennett IJ, Burzynska A, Potter GG, Chen N-k & Song AW (2012). Diffusion tensor imaging of cerebral white matter integrity in cognitive aging. BBA - Molecular Basis of Disease. 1822(3): 386-400.

Davis SW, Kragel JE, Madden DJ & Cabeza R (2012). The architecture of cross-hemispheric communication in the aging brain: Linking behavior to functional and structural connectivity. Cerebral Cortex. 22(1): 232-42.

Bennett IJ, Madden DJ, Vaidya CJ, Howard JH Jr & Howard DV (2011). White matter integrity correlates of implicit sequence learning in healthy aging. Neurobiology of Aging. 32(12): 2317.e1-2317.e1.

Biswal BB, Mennes M, Zuo XN, Gohel S, Kelly C, Smith SM, Beckmann CF, Adelstein JS, Buckner RL, Colcombe S, Dogonowski AM, Ernst M, Fair D, Hampson M, Hoptman MJ, Hyde JS, Kiviniemi VJ, Ktter R, Li SJ, Lin CP, Lowe MJ, Mackay C, Madden DJ, Madsen KH, Margulies DS, Mayberg HS, McMahon K, Monk CS, Mostofsky SH, Nagel BJ, Pekar JJ, Peltier SJ, Petersen SE, Riedl V, Rombouts SA, Rypma B, Schlaggar BL, Schmidt S, Seidler RD, Siegle GJ, Sorg C, Teng GJ, Veijola J, Villringer A, Walter M, Wang L, Weng XC, Whitfield-Gabrieli S, Williamson P, Windischberger C, Zang YF, Zhang HY, Castellanos FX & Milham MP (2010). Toward discovery science of human brain function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 107(10): 4734-9.

Madden DJ, Costello MC, Dennis NA, Davis SW, Shepler AM, Spaniol J, Bucur B & Cabeza R (2010). Adult age differences in functional connectivity during executive control. NeuroImage. 52(2): 643-57.


Chen NK, Chou YH, Song AW & Madden DJ (2009). Measurement of spontaneous signal fluctuations in fMRI: adult age differences in intrinsic functional connectivity. Brain Structure and Function. 213(6): 571-85.

Madden DJ, Spaniol J, Costello MC, Bucur B, White LE, Cabeza R, Davis SW, Dennis NA, Provenzale JM & Huettel SA (2009). Cerebral white matter integrity mediates adult age differences in cognitive performance. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience. 21(2): 289-302.

Bucur B, Madden DJ, Spaniol J, Provenzale JM, Cabeza R, White LE & Huettel SA (2008). Age-related slowing of memory retrieval: contributions of perceptual speed and cerebral white matter integrity. Neurobiology of Aging. 29(7): 1070-9.

Dennis NA, Hayes SM, Prince SE, Madden DJ, Huettel SA & Cabeza R (2008). Effects of aging on the neural correlates of successful item and source memory encoding. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 34(4): 791-808.

Madden DJ, Spaniol J, Whiting WL, Bucur B, Provenzale JM, Cabeza R, White LE & Huettel SA (2007). Adult age differences in the functional neuroanatomy of visual attention: a combined fMRI and DTI study. Neurobiology of Aging. 28(3): 459-76.

Whiting WL, Madden DJ & Babcock KJ (2007). Overriding age differences in attentional capture with top-down processing. Psychology and Aging. 22(2): 223-32.

Madden DJ, Spaniol J, Bucur B & Whiting WL (2007). Age-related increase in top-down activation of visual features. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. 60(5): 644-51.

Madden DJ (2007). Aging and Visual Attention. Current Directions in Psychological Science. 16(2): 70-4.

Daselaar SM, Fleck MS, Dobbins IG, Madden DJ & Cabeza R (2006). Effects of healthy aging on hippocampal and rhinal memory functions: an event-related fMRI study. Cerebral Cortex. 16(12): 1771-82.

Spaniol J, Madden DJ & Voss A (2006). A diffusion model analysis of adult age differences in episodic and semantic long-term memory retrieval. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. 32(1): 101-17.

Madden DJ, Whiting WL, Huettel SA, White LE, MacFall JR & Provenzale JM (2004). Diffusion tensor imaging of adult age differences in cerebral white matter: Relation to response time. NeuroImage. 21(3): 1174-81.

Madden DJ, Whiting W, Cabeza R & Huettel SA (2004). Age-related preservation in top-down attentional guidance during visual search. Psychology and Aging. 19(2): 304-9.

Madden DJ, Whiting W, Provenzale JM & Huettel SA (2004). Age-related changes in neural activity during visual target detection measured by fMRI. Cerebral Cortex. 14(2): 143-155.

Educational and Training Opportunities

The Cognitive Psychology Laboratory participates as a training site for several educational programs:

The Integrative Program in Cognitive Neuroscience (IPCN) at Duke University, offers a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience. This program of full-time graduate studies is administered by the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience:


The Post-Baccalaureate Fellowships in Functional Neuroimaging offer the opportunity to work in a neuroscience lab, for a year or two, following completion of an undergraduate degree. For individuals interested in applying to graduate or professional school, this program offers exposure to ongoing research programs in neuroscience, as well as career mentorship. The program is administered by the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center:



contact Dr. Madden for additional information regarding these programs.