Gillian Starkey

Associate ProfessorPsychology

Gillian Starkey is an Assistant Professor of Human Neuroscience in the Center for Psychology at Goucher College. She completed her doctorate in Cognition and Cognitive Neuroscience at Vanderbilt University in 2014, where she was awarded a pre-doctoral fellowship from the Institute of Education Sciences. Before coming to Goucher, Dr. Starkey completed a post-doctoral research fellowship in educational neuroscience at Stanford University, and taught courses in cognitive development, neuroscience, and statistics at Stanford and San José State University. At Goucher, she teaches courses in human neuroscience and conducts electrophysiology research on the neural basis of children’s developing math skills.

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Research, Scholarship, Creative Work in Progress

Dr. Starkey’s research investigates the neural correlates of number cognition in adults and children. She is specifically interested in how changes in the structure and function of the brain relate to developments in children’s math ability. The goal of her research is to better understand how the brain supports and reflects developing math skills as children progress through elementary school, with a focus on children who are struggling to learn math.


Starkey, G.S. (in press). Functional magnetic resonance imaging. The SAGE Encyclopedia of Abnormal and Clinical Psychology.  Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Starkey, G.S., & McCandliss, B.D. (2014). The emergence of “groupitizing” in children’s numerical cognition. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 126, 120-137.

Conference Papers & Panel Participation

Starkey, G.S., Hubbard, E.M., & McCandliss, B.D. (2013). Linking subitizing fluency with neural systems for exact quantity. Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society conference in San Francisco, CA.

Starkey, G.S., & McCandliss, B.D. (2012). Measuring children’s grasp of number combining with an exact enumeration task. Poster presented at the American Educational Research Association in Vancouver, BC.

Viarouge, A., Hubbard, E.M., Doydum, A.O., Moneta, L.A., Starkey, G.S., & McCandliss, B.D. (2011). Brain correlates of early math and number skills: Novel insights into K-3 number concepts. Poster presented at the REESE PI Meeting in Washington, DC.

Starkey, G.S., & McCandliss, B.D. (2011). Cognitive relationships between symbolic enumeration and symbolic math fluency. Poster presented at the Cognitive Neuroscience Society conference in San Francisco, CA.

Starkey, G.S., Blair, K., Schwartz, D., & McCandliss, B.D. (2010). Non-symbolic enumeration is systematically related to fluency in symbolic arithmetic. Poster presented at the Institute of Education Sciences conference in National Harbor, MD.

Academic or Professional Associations

Cognitive Neuroscience Society

American Education Research Association

Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness

Other Professional or Scholarly Activity

Editorial experience as an ad hoc reviewer:

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

Nature: Scientific Reports

Research in Mathematics Education

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