Derek J. Huffman

Assistant Professor

Office: Davis Science Center [ campus map ]
Fax: 207-859-5555
Huffman, Derek J.


Ph.D. in Neurobiology and Behavior, 2010-2016
University of California, Irvine
Dissertation: A functional, behavioral, and model-based investigation of human visual memory

B.S. in Psychology, with emphasis in Cognitive Psychology, 2006-2008
University of California, San Diego
Minor: Chemistry

Associate of Arts, 2004-2006
Orange Coast College

Areas of Expertise

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Spatial Cognition
  • Navigation
  • Memory
  • Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)
  • Electroencephalography (EEG)
  • Virtual Reality (VR)

Courses Currently Teaching

CourseCourse Title
PS233 ABiological Basis of Behavior
PS244 ACognitive Neuroscience
PS358 ASeminar in Cognitive Neuropsychology
PS359 ACollaborative Research in Cognitive Neuropsychology

Professional Information

Postdoctoral Scholar, 2016-2020
Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis

Research Assistant, 2009-2010
University of Southern California

Current Research

My research program is focused on studying the ways in which we learn and remember information about the world around us, with an emphasis on spatial cognition. My lab will aim to find converging evidence across a variety of approaches, including real-world behavioral tasks, virtual reality, EEG, and fMRI. We are also interested in using computational techniques (e.g., machine learning, multivariate analysis, modeling) to analyze the human brain and behavior.


Starrett, MJ, McAvan, AS, Huffman, DJ, Stokes, JD, Kyle, CT, Smuda, DN, Kolarik, BS, Laczko, J, and Ekstrom, AD (2020). Landmarks: A solution for spatial navigation and memory experiments in virtual reality. Behavior Research Methods.

Ekstrom, AD, Harootonian, S, and Huffman, DJ (2020). Grid coding, spatial representation, and behavior: Should we assume an isomorphism? Hippocampus, 30(4):422-432.

Huffman, DJ and Ekstrom, AD (2019). A modality-independent network underlies the retrieval of large-scale spatial environments in the human brain. Neuron, 104(3):611-622.e7.

Huffman, DJ and Ekstrom, AD (2019). Which way is the bookstore? A closer look at the judgments of relative directions task. Spatial Cognition and Computation, 19(2):93-129.

Starrett, MJ, Stokes, JD, Huffman, DJ, Ferrer, E, and Ekstrom, AD (2019). Learning-dependent evolution of spatial representations for large-scale virtual environments. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 45(3):497-514.

White, AO, Javier, LK, Goldberg, NR, Boucquey, V, Overman, J, Ochaba, J, Marsh, S, Huffman, D, and Nicholas, A (2017). Front and back flipping for neurobiology! Developing a hybrid upper-division lab course. Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education, 16(1):A95-A101.

Ekstrom, A, Huffman, DJ, and 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.

Huffman, DJ and Stark, CEL (2017). The influence of low-level stimulus features on the representation of contexts, items, and their mnemonic associations. NeuroImage, 155:513-

Huffman, DJ and Stark, CEL (2017). Age-related impairment on a forced-choice version of the Mnemonic Similarity Task. Behavioral Neuroscience, 131(1):55-67.

Bennett, IJ, Huffman, DJ, and Stark, CEL (2015). Limbic tract integrity contributes to pattern separation performance across the lifespan. Cerebral Cortex, 25(9):2988-2999.

Huffman, DJ and Stark, CEL (2014). Multivariate pattern analysis of the human medial temporal lobe revealed representationally categorical cortex and representationally agnostic hippocampus. Hippocampus, 24(11):1394-1403.

Nashiro, K, Sakaki, M, Huffman, D, and Mather, M (2013). Both younger and older adults have diffculty updating emotional memories. The Journal of Gerontology, Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, 68(2):224-227.


The directory information is for individual use only, it may not be retransmitted or published for any reason. It is not to be used for mass solicitations by email, mail, phone, or other means. Sale or other distribution of this document is prohibited by College policy.