Endel Tulving has clarified the nature of human memory at the behavioural level and made substantial additions to our knowledge of its neural correlates. His theorizing is of unusual breadth and coherence, has dealt with the relations between memory and consciousness at the experimental level, with the measurement of memory organization at the behavioural level, with methods for distinguishing memory systems at the experimental level, and with the neuroanatomical correlates of memory systems and processes at the level of brain mechanisms. In an incredibly productive career spanning nearly half a century, he has radically changed how scientists view human memory, and his theoretical frameworks now guide the whole field of memory research.
Dr. Tulving was born in Estonia, moving to Canada as a young adult. He earned his doctorate from Harvard University in 1957 and accepted a position at the University of Toronto. He remained in Toronto (except for a brief period at Yale University), serving as Chair of the Department of Psychology from 1974 to 1980, and becoming University Professor in 1985. He joined The Rotman Research Institute of Baycrest Centre in 1992 as the Tanenbaum Chair and is also the Clark Way Harrison Distinguished Visiting Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience, Washington University in St. Louis. He is a member of seven distinguished societies: Fellow, Royal Society of Canada; Foreign Member, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; Fellow, Royal Society of London; Foreign Honorary Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences; Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences, U.S.A; Foreign Member Academia Europaea; Foreign Member, Estonian Academy of Sciences. He has also been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards, including the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award (American Psychological Association), Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychological Science (American Psychological Foundation), and the Izaak Walton Killam Memorial Prize for Distinguished Career Contributions to the Field of Natural Sciences (Canada Council).