Ingrid Olson

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Ingrid Olson
  • University of Michigan
  • Yale University
Scientific career
FieldsCognitive Neuroscience
InstitutionsTemple University

Ingrid Olson is the Thaddeus L. Bolton Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.[1] At Temple University, she serves as the Director of the Cognition and Neuroscience Area. She is an expert on the biological basis of human cognition, with special focus on memory and social cognition.[2] As of 2023, she has produced around 100 scientific publications, which have been cited around 14,000 times.

Biographical Information

Olson was born in Muskegon Michigan where she attended Muskegon High School. Her father's family immigrated from Grums kommun, Sweden to work in Michigan's lumber industry. She attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor followed by doctoral studies and post-doctoral studies at Yale University. Her first faculty position was at the University of Pennsylvania followed by a position in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Temple University. She is an elected member of the Psychonomic Society, Memory Disorders Research Society[3], and the Society of Experimental Psychologists. She is also a member of the Independent Order of Vikings.


Olson's early work was focused on visual statistical learning[4] and visual short term memory .[5] She published one of the first studies showing that the hippocampus plays an essential role in maintaining information over very brief delays[6], going against dogma that this structure was only essential for long term memory. She has also done research on how our brain remembers people and other forms of social memory[7] and how this sort of memory can be improved by electrical stimulation of the anterior temporal lobes.[8] Newer work has focused on how the brain matures to support episodic memory in young children.[9] She has helped establish the fundamental role of neural white matter, such as the Fornix (neuroanatomy), Uncinate fasciculus, and Cerebellothalamic tract, in orchestrating complex cognitive processes such as episodic memory, person memory, and social cognition.[10][11][12][13] Her research program is funded by grants from the National Institute of Health.


  1. Temple College of Liberal Arts
  2. Helmreich, DL (2017) Profiles of women in science: Prof. Ingrid Olson of Temple University, European Journal of Neuroscience
  4. Contextual guidance of attention: Human intracranial event-related potential evidene for feedback modulation in anatomically early temporally late stages of visual processing IR Olson, MM Chun, T Allison. Brain 124 (7), 1417-1425.
  5. Organization of visual short-term memory Y Jiang, IR Olson, MM Chun Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, memory, and cognition 26 (3), 683
  6. Working memory for conjunctions relies on the medial temporal lobe IR Olson, K Page, KS Moore, A Chatterjee, M Verfaellie Journal of Neuroscience 26 (17), 4596-4601
  7. Dynamic neural architecture for social knowledge retrieval Y Wang, JA Collins, J Koski, T Nugiel, A Metoki, IR Olson Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114 (16), E3305-E3314
  8. Improved proper name recall in aging after electrical stimulation of the anterior temporal lobes LA Ross, D McCoy, HB Coslett, IR Olson, DA Wolk Frontiers in aging neuroscience 3, 16
  9. The fornix supports episodic memory during childhood LJ Hoffman, CT Ngo, O Pasternak, F Zhang, T Riggins, IR Olson Cerebral Cortex
  10. Never forget a name: white matter connectivity predicts person memory A Metoki, KH Alm, Y Wang, CT Ngo, IR Olson Brain Structure and Function 222 (9), 4187-4201
  11. Multimodal mapping of the face connectome Y Wang, A Metoki, DV Smith, JD Medaglia, Y Zang, S Benear, H Popal, IR Olson. Nature human behaviour 4 (4), 397-411
  12. The social cerebellum: a large-scale investigation of functional and structural specificity and connectivity A Metoki, Y Wang, IR Olson Cerebral Cortex 32 (5), 987-1003
  13. Dissecting the uncinate fasciculus: disorders, controversies and a hypothesis Von Der Heide RJ, Skipper LM, Klobusicky E, Olson IR.Brain. 2013 Jun;136(Pt 6):1692-707

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