Mike Starrett

Psychology PhD Student


I am interested in the cognitive and neural bases of spatial representations for large-scale environments and how spatial information can be learned and flexibly deployed depending on the cognitive demands of navigation and/or spatial memory. My research combines immersive virtual reality (VR) technology with behavioral and neurophysiological measures.

Before Joining the Human Spatial Cognition Lab, I received a B.A. in Psychology (2011) from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I worked with Dr. Bradley R. Postle [Postlab] on various projects utilizing EEG, fMRI, and rTMS. I began my Ph.D. at the University of California, Davis. After earning my M.A. in Psychology (2017), I transferred to the University of Arizona to continue working with my Ph.D. advisor, Dr. Arne Ekstrom. In my free time I enjoy cycling, craft beer, and spending time with my dog, Pepper.


Hejtmanek, L., Starrett, M. J., Ferrer, E., & Ekstrom, A. D. (in press). How much of what we learn in virtual reality transfers to real-world navigation? Multisensory Research.

Starrett, M. J., Stokes, J. D., Huffman, D. J., Ferrer, E., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2019). Learning-dependent evolution of spatial representations in large-scale virtual environments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 45(3), 497-514. doi:10.1037/xlm0000597 [accepted manuscript]

Starrett, M. J., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2018). Perspective: Assessing the Flexible Acquisition, Integration, and Deployment of Human Spatial Representations and Information. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 12(281). doi:10.3389/fnhum.2018.00281 [pdf]

Liang, M., Starrett, M. J., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2018). Dissociation of Frontal-midline Delta-theta and Posterior Alpha Oscillations: A Mobile EEG Study. Psychophysiology, 55:e13090. doi:10.1111/psyp.13090 [pdf]

Gosseries, O., Yu, Q., LaRocque, J. J., Starrett, M. J., Rose, N. S., Cowan, N., & Postle, B. R. (2018). Parietal-occipital interactions underlying control- and representation-related processes in working memory for nonspatial visual features. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(18): 4357-4366. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2747-17.2018 [pdf]

Ekstrom, A. D., Huffman, D. J., & Starrett, M. (2017). Interacting networks of brain regions underlie human spatial navigation: A review and novel synthesis of the literature. Journal of Neurophysiology, 118(6): 3328-3344. doi: 10.1152/jn.00531.2017 [pdf]

Rose, N. S., LaRocque, J. J., Riggall, A. C., Gosseries, O., Starrett, M. J., Meyering, E. E., & Postle, B. R. (2016). Reactivation of latent working memories with transcranial magnetic stimulation. Science, 354(6316): 1136-1139. doi:10.1126/science.aah7011 [sciencemag.org]

LaRocque, J. J., Eichenbaum, A. S., Starrett, M. J., Rose, N. S., Emrich, S. M., & Postle, B. R. (2015). The short- and long-term fates of memory items retained outside the focus of attention [Special issue on working memory]. Memory and Cognition, 43(3): 453-468. doi:10.3758/s13421-014-0486-y  [pdf]

Contact Info

Mailing Address:
Department of Psychology
University of Arizona
1503 E University Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85721