Michael Starrett

Michael Starrett's picture
Real name: 
Graduate Student, Cognition & Neural Systems
Facuty Advisor: Arne Ekstrom
  • B.A. Psychology (University of Wisconsin-Madison) 
  • M.A. Psychology (University of California, Davis)
Research Interests: 
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.
I was born and raised in Green Bay, Wisconsin. After receiving my BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I spent three years working as the lab manager for Dr. Brad Postle. In 2015, I began my PhD at the University of California, Davis, where I obtained my MA in Psychology. In 2018, I transferred to the University of Arizona to continue working with my PhD advisor, Dr. Arne Ekstrom.
As a first-generation college student from a low-income family, and the only member of my family to pursue a doctoral degree, I am a strong advocate for advancing diversity in research and academia.
In my personal life, I enjoy biking, craft beer, coffee, and especially biking to drink craft beer or coffee. Everything is better when I am spending time with my lovely fiancé Kimmy and our dog Pepper.
Selected Publications: 
  • Hejtmanek, L., Starrett, M. J., Ferrer, E., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2020). How much of what we learn in virtual reality transfers to real-world navigation? Multisensory Research, 1-25. doi:10.1163/22134808-20201445
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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, 188(6), 3328-3344. doi:10.1152/jn.00531.2017
  • 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
  • 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]. Memory and Cognition, 43(3), 453-468. doi:10.3758/s13421-014-0486-y
  • * these authors contributed equally