Carolyn Rovee-Collier

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Carolyn Rovee-Collier
Born(1942-04-07)April 7, 1942
DiedOctober 2, 2014(2014-10-02) (aged 72)
Alma materLouisiana State University (BA)
Brown University (ScM)
Brown University (PhD)
Known forInfant Learning and Memory
AwardsThe Howard Crosby Warren Medal (2003)
Scientific career
InstitutionsTrenton State College
Rutgers University
Columbia University
Doctoral advisorTrygg Engen[1]

Carolyn Rovee-Collier (April 7, 1942 – October 2, 2014) was a Professor of Psychology at Rutgers University. Born in Nashville, Tennessee,[1] she was a pioneer and an internationally renowned expert in cognitive development. She was named one of the 10 most influential female graduates of Brown University. The International Society for Developmental Psychobiology awards the Rovee-Collier Mentor Award in her honor.[2]


Rovee-Collier grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She graduated from Louisiana State University in 1962 with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She obtained her master's degree in 1964 and her Ph.D. in experimental child psychology from Brown University in 1966. She taught at Trenton University and then Rutgers university, where she was on the faculty for 43 years until her death on October 2, 2014, after a long struggle with multiple sclerosis and breast cancer, in her Stockton, New Jersey home.[3][4]


Rovee-Collier was recognized as the founder of infant long-term memory research.[4] Her research focused on learning and memory in pre-verbal infants. In her research, she used operant and deferred imitation procedures to study latent learning, and how memory retrieval affects future retention. Rovee-Collier had authored 200 articles and chapters and a 2001 book (with Hayne and Colombo), The development of implicit and explicit memory,[5] and received recognition for her research accomplishments from various organizations.[6]


Rovee-Collier received a 10-year NIMH MERIT award.[7] Recipients of these awards are nominated by members of the National Institute of Mental Health, and made to investigators who have demonstrated superior competence and outstanding productivity in their research.[8]

In 2003 she received the Howard Crosby Warren Medal —the most prestigious award in American psychology, according to the Federation of Associations in Behavioral & Brain Sciences.[9] She also received a James McKeen Cattell Fellowship and a Distinguished Achievement Medal from the Graduate School of Brown University.[when?][7]

Selected works[edit]

  • Rovee-Collier, C. (1995). Time windows in cognitive development. Developmental Psychology, 31(2), 147-169.
  • Rovee-Collier, C. (1997). Dissociations in infant memory: Rethinking the development of implicit and explicit memory. Psychological Review, 104(3), 467-498.
  • Rovee-Collier, C., Griesler, P. C., & Earley, L. A. (1985). Contextual determinants of retrieval in three-month-old infants. Learning and Motivation, 16(2), 139-157.
  • Rovee-Collier, C. K., Hayne, H., & Colombo, M. (2001). The development of implicit and explicit memory. John Benjamins Publishing.
  • Rovee-Collier, C. K., & Sullivan, M. W. (1980). Organization of infant memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 6(6), 798-807.
  • Rovee-Collier, C. K., Sullivan, M. W., Enright, M., Lucas, D., & Fagen, J. W. (1980). Reactivation of infant memory. Science, 208(4448), 1159-1161.


  1. ^ a b "In Honor Of... Carolyn Rovee-Collier". Retrieved March 18, 2014. (subscription required)
  2. ^ "Rovee-Collier Mentor Award". International Society for Developmental Psychobiology (ISDP). 2018-11-05. Retrieved 2019-09-21.
  3. ^ Obituary for Dr. Carolyn Rovee-Collier,; accessed December 1, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Vitello, Paul. "Carolyn Rovee-Collier, Who Said Babies Have Clear Memories, Is Dead at 72", The New York Times, October 22, 2014; accessed October 28, 2014; "She taught at Trenton State College before joining Rutgers in 1970 and lived in Stockton, N.J."
  5. ^ The Development of Implicit and Explicit Memory. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  6. ^ "Carolyn Rovee-Collier profile". Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  7. ^ a b "Carolyn Rovee-Collier". 2014-03-19. Archived from the original on 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  8. ^ "Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award". National Institute of Mental Health. Archived from the original on October 24, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2014.
  9. ^ "Howard Cosby Warren Medal". Society of Experimental Psychologists. Retrieved 24 October 2014.