Mike Starrett

Psychology PhD Student


I am interested in the cognitive and neural bases of spatial representations for (and navigation in) large-scale environments. My research combines innovative and immersive virtual reality (VR) technology with both behavioral and neurophysiological measures. I am particularly interested in how various forms of spatial information are learned and how behavior related to this information evolves, emerges, and changes with repeated exposure to an environment. Other questions involve how different forms of spatial information are strategically employed or integrated neurally, based upon goals and cognitive demands during navigation. 

Before Joining the Spatial Cognition Lab, I received my BA in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I worked with Dr. Bradley R. Postle [Postlab] on various projects utilizing EEG, fMRI, and rTMS. In my free time I enjoy cycling, craft beer, and spending time with my dog.


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]

Starrett, M. J., Stokes, J. D., Huffman, D. J., Ferrer, E., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2018). Learning-dependent evolution of spatial representations in large-scale virtual environments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition. doi:10.1037/xlm0000597 [accepted manuscript]

Liang, M., Starrett, M. J., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2018). Dissociation of Frontal-midline Delta-theta and Posterior Alpha Oscillations: A Mobile EEG Study. Psychophysiology, 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 fate 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]


Starrett, M. J., Stokes, J. D., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2017, August). Dynamic Evolution Of Spatial Representations During Free Ambulation Of Novel Large-Scale Virtual Environments. Presented at the annual meeting of the Cognitive Science Association for Interdisciplinary Learning, Hood River, OR. 

Saad, E., Starrett, M. J., LaRocque, J. J., Rose, N. S., & Postle, B. R. (2015, October). Multivariate assessment of biased competition in human visual attention. In C. Gray (Chair), Assessment and Modulation of Human Working Memory. Nanosymposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Chicago, IL. [abstract]

Riggall, A. C., Rose, N. S., Starrett, M. J., & Postle, B. R. (2014, November). Frontoparietal contributions to the short-term retention of motion and color. In A. C. Nobre (Chair), Working Memory. Nanosymposium conducted at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, Washington, D.C. [abstract]

Contact Info

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