Prof. Endel Tulving

Officer of the Order of Canada
(BA 1953 UC)

Experimental psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist Endel Tulving has fundamentally shaped our understanding of human memory. He introduced the concept of episodic memory, which has provided insight into neurological disorders such as strokes and Alzheimer’s disease, and his theories have provided the foundation for the field of memory research.

Tulving left his native Estonia during WWII and came to Canada, eventually enrolling in psychology at U of T, where he spent his career. Now a Professor Emeritus at U of T, he has influenced generations of psychologists and neuroscientists throughout his prolific career. His publications are highly cited, and he has been elected to seven distinguished societies of science: the Royal Society of Canada; the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences; the Royal Society of London; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the National Academy of Sciences, USA; Academia Europaea; and the Estonian Academy of Sciences.

He has received numerous honours, including the prestigious Gairdner Award, Canada’s leading prize in biology, the Distinguished Scientific Contribution Award of the American Psychological Association, and the Gold Medal Award for Life Achievement in Psychological Science from American Psychological Foundation, among other accolades. In 2006, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2007, he was inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.