Susan Carey awarded the National Academy of Sciences 2020 Atkinson Prize in Psychological and Cognitive Sciences

January 22, 2020
Susan Carey

Carey’s research examines the fundamental question of how humans construct knowledge through processes such as face processing, social cognition, numerical representation, word learning, counting, and explanation. Her studies in all of these areas have culminated in a grand theory of conceptual change, which she detailed in her book, The Origins of ConceptsThis theory has revolutionized our understanding of how humans construct an understanding of objects, number, living kinds, and the physical world.  Individually and with her collaborators, Carey’s work has given also rise to numerous new programs of research, including “fast-mapping,” “extended mapping” and “folk theories.”


Throughout her career, Carey has tirelessly served as a mentor to the next generations of scientists. She has guided hundreds of students, dozens of whom have gone on to full tenure tracks and their own influential careers.