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Arne Ekstrom


  • Ph.D., Neuroscience, Brandeis University
  • M.S., Neuroscience, University of Arizona
  • B.A., Psychology and Biology, Brandeis University


In addition to his academic appointment, Arne Ekstrom is an affiliated faculty at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience, which seeks to understand the function of the human brain in health and in illness. He is also an affiliated faculty member at the Center for Mind and Brain and serves as the principal investigator for the Spatial Cognition Lab. In addition, he has served as an ad hoc reviewer for Neuron, Nature Neuroscience, Cerebral Cortex, Journal of Neuroscience, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition; Neuroimage, and Behavioral Brain Research.  He has also served as an ad-hoc grant reviewer for both NIH and NSF.

Research Focus

The primary mission of Professor Ekstrom’s lab is to better understand the neurophysiological basis of human memory. The lab’s particular focus is on spatial memory and its neural foundations in humans. The lab employs several different recording methodologies to better understand spatial memory, including intracranial EEG, fMRI and scalp EEG. Studies in the lab focus on how low-frequency oscillations code for aspects of spatial and temporal context, how and in what manner the brain constructs cognitive maps, how navigation vs. episodic memory processing are represented in the brain, and how the different recording modalities tie together or provide complementary information about underlying brain processes. 

Selected Publications

  • Stokes J. D., Kyle, C., & Ekstrom, A. D. (2014). Complementary roles of human hippocampal subfields in differentiation and integration of spatial context.  Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.  27(3): 546-59.

  • Copara M. S.,  Hassan, A.,  Kyle, C., Libby, L.,  Ranganath, C., &  Ekstrom, A. D.  (2014). Complementary roles of human hippocampal subregions during retrieval of spatiotemporal context.  Journal of Neuroscience.  34(20): 6834-42.  PMID: 24828637.

  • Watrous A. J., Tandon, N.,  Connor, C., Pieters, T., &  Ekstrom, A. D. (2013).  Frequency specific increases in network connectivity underlie successful spatiotemporal memory retrieval.  Nature Neuroscience.  16(3): 349-356.  PMID: 23354333. 

  • Watrous A., Fried, I., Ekstrom, A. D. (2011).  Behavioral correlates of human hippocampal delta and theta oscillations during navigation.  Journal of Neurophysiology.  105:1747-55. PMID: 21289136.   

  • Ekstrom A. D., Kahana, M. J.,  Caplan, J. B.,  Fields, T. A.,   Isham, E. A., Newman, E., &   Fried, I. (2003). Cellular networks underlying human spatial navigation. Nature, 425, 184-188. PMID: 12968182.


Professor Ekstrom teaches in the areas of cognitive neuroscience and cognitive psychology. He concentrates on episodic memory, spatial memory, hippocampal area processing, multi-modal imaging, scalp and intra-cranial EEG recording, signal processing, time-frequency analysis, fMRI, high-resolution imaging, and simultaneous EEG/fMRI, fMRI imaging methods.


Professor Ekstrom has received a number of awards throughout his career.  He is a Kavli Fellow (National Academy of Sciences Kavli Frontiers of Science — 2012) and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow (2011).  He also received the Hellman Young Investigator award in 2011. In 2008, he was designated The Brain Research Institute Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in Neuroscience. Professor Ekstrom’s lab receives funding through the NIH.