Carr, Valerie

Head shotAssistant Professor, Psychology

Carr Lab Investigating Memory and the Brain (CLIMB)

Faculty advisor to Psi Chi




Office hours

Dudley Moorhead Hall (DMH) 318

Fall 2018: Tues/Thurs 4:30-5:30pm


Fall 2018:

PSYC 155 (Human Learning)

PSYC/BIO 129 (Neuroscience)

ENGR 120 (Prorgramming for Social Sciences)


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Neuroscience, UCLA, 2008
  • Bachelor of Science, Biological Psychology, The College of William & Mary, 2001


Dr Valerie Carr earned her PhD in Neuroscience from UCLA in 2008 where she examined strategic factors influencing memory in both younger and older adults. Afterwards she pursued an NIH-funded postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University where she investigated neural mechanisms of memory and how these mechanisms change with age. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Psychology department where an overarching goal of her research is to understand the factors that influence the content, quality, and durability of memories across the lifespan. She leverages her knowledge of cognitive neuroscience to understand how physical health -- particularly aerobic fitness -- influences brain health and forms of cognition such as episodic memory and executive function.

Recent Publications

Marbouti, F., Carr, V. A., Wei, B. W., Jones, M. E., and Strage, A. (2018). Applied Computing for Behavioral and Social Sciences (ACBSS) Minor. In 2018 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition.

Carr, V.A., Bernstein, J. D., Favila, S. E., Wagner, A. D. and Kerchner, G. A. (2017). Individual differences in associative memory among older adults explained by hippocampal subfield structure and function. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114, 12075-12080.

Wisse, L. E. M., Daugherty, A. M., Olsen, R. K., Berron, D., Carr, V. A., … la Joie, R., for the Hippocampal Subfields Group (2017). A harmonized segmentation protocol for hippocampal and parahippocampal subregions: Why do we need one and what are the key goals? Hippocampus, 27, 3-11.

Brown, T. I., Carr, V. A., LaRocque, K. F., Favila, S. E., Gordon, A. M., Bowles, B., Wagner, A. D. (2016). Prospective representation of navigational goals in the human hippocampus. Science, 352, 1323-1326.

Yushkevich, P. A., Amaral, R. S. C., Augustinack, J. C., Bender, A. R., Bernstein, J. D., Boccardi, M., Bocchetta, M., Burggren, A. C., Carr, V. A., ... Zeineh, M. M. (2015). Quantitative comparison of 21 protocols for labeling hippocampal subfields and parahippocampal cortical subregions in in vivo MRI: Initial steps towards a harmonized segmentation protocol. Neuroimage, 11, 526-541.

Carr, V. A., Castel, A.D., and Knowlton, B. J. (2015). Age-related differences in subsequent memory performance after attending to distinctiveness or similarity during learning. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 22, 155-169.

Carr, V. A., Engel, S. A., and Knowlton, B. J. (2013). Top-down modulation of hippocampal encoding activity as measured by high-resolution functional MRI. Neuropsychologia, 51, 1829-1837.

LaRocque, K. F., Smith, M. E., Carr, V. A., Witthoft, N., Grill-Spector, K. and Wagner. A. D. (2013). Global similarity and pattern separation in the human medial temporal lobe predict subsequent memory. The Journal of Neuroscience, 33, 5466-5474.

Carr, V. A., Viskontas, I. V., Engel, S. A., and Knowlton, B. J. (2010). Neural activity in the hippocampus and perirhinal cortex during encoding is associated with the durability of episodic memory. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 22, 2652-2662.

Carr, V. A., Rissman, J., and Wagner, A.D. (2010). Imaging the human medial temporal lobe with high-resolution fMRI. Neuron, 65, 298-308.

Viskontas, I. V., Carr, V. A., Engel, S. A., and Knowlton, B. J. (2009). The neural correlates of recollection: Hippocampal activation declines as episodic memory fades. Hippocampus, 19, 265-272.