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Queen's University

    Early Experience Lab


    Research Team



    Contact Us!


    Contact us at


    Tahiroglu, D., Moses, L. J., Carlson, S. M., Olafson, E., Mahy, C.E.V. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2014).  The Children’s Social Understanding Scale:  Construction and validation of a parent-report measure for assessing  individual differences in children’s theories of mind. Developmental  Psychology, 50(11), 2485-2497.

    Benson Mo, S., Su, Y., Sabbagh, M. A., & Xiu, J. (2014).  Sentential complements and false belief understanding in Chinese Mandarin-speaking preschoolers: A training study. Cognitive Development .

    Koenig, M. & Sabbagh, M.A. (2013). Selective social learning: New perspectives on learning from others. Developmental Psychology, 49, 399-403.
    Henderson, A. M., Sabbagh, M. A., & Woodward, A. L. (2013). Preschoolers’ selective learning is guided by the principle of relevanceCognition126(2), 246-257.
    Benson, J.E., Sabbagh, M.A., Carlson, S.M. & Zelazo, P.D. (2013). Individual differences in executive functioning predict preschoolers improvement from theory-of-mind training, Developmental Psychology.

    Akhtar, N., Menjivar, J., Hoicka, E. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2012). Learning foreign labels from a foreign speaker: The role of (limited) exposure to a second languageJournal of Child Language, 39, 1135-1149.

    Lackner, C. L., Sabbagh, M. A., Hallinan, E., Liu, X., & Holden, J. J. E. (2012) Dopamine receptor D4 gene variation predicts preschoolers’ developing theory of mindDevelopmental Science, 15, 272- 280.
    Harkness, K. L., Jacobson, J. A., Sinclair, B., Chan, E., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2012). For love or for money? What motivates people to know the minds of others. Cognition and Emotion, 26, 272-280.
    Harkness, K. L., Washburn, D., Theriault, J., Lee, L., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2011). Maternal history of depression is associated with enhanced theory of mind in depressed and nondepressed adult womenPsychiatry Research, 189, 91-96.

    Harkness, K. L., Jacobson, J. A., Duong, D. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2010). Mental state decoding in remitted major depression: Effects of sad versus happy mood inductionCognition and Emotion, 24, 497-513. 

    Lackner, C. L., Bowman, L. C. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2010) Dopaminergic functioning and preschoolers’ theory of mind Neuropsychologia, 48, 1767-1774.
    Sabbagh, M. A, Hopkins, S. F. R., Benson, J. E., & Flanagan, J. R. (2010). Conceptual change and preschoolers‘ theory of mind: Evidence from load-force adaptationNeural Networks.
    Henderson, A. M. E. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2010). Parents use of conventional and unconventional labels in conversations with their preschoolersJournal of Child Language, 37, 793-816.
    Liu, D., Sabbagh, M. A., Gehring, W. J, & Wellman, H. M. (2009). Neural correlates of theory of mind reasoning in adults and childrenChild Development, 80, 318-326.  
    Sabbagh, M. A., Bowman, L. C., Evraire, L. & Ito, J. M. B. (2009). Neurodevelopmental bases of preschoolers’ theory-of-mind developmentChild Development, 80, 1147-1162.  
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Shafman, D. (2009). How children block learning from ignorant speakers. Cognition, 112, 415-422.  
    Saylor, M. M., Sabbagh, M. A., Fortuna, A., & Troseth, G. (2009). Preschoolers use speakers‘ preferences to learn wordsCognitive Development, 24, 125-132.
    Benson, J. E., Sabbagh, M. A. (2009). Theory of mind and executive functioning: A developmental neuropsychological approach. In P. Zelazo, E. Crone, & M. Chandler (Eds.). Developmental social cognitive neuroscience.

    Baldwin, D. A., Loucks, J. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2008). Pragmatics of human action . In T. F. Shipley and J. Zacks (Eds.), Understanding Events: How humans see, represent and act on events.

    Liu, D., Wellman, H. M., Tardif, T., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2008). Theory of mind development in Chinese children: A meta-analysis of false-belief understanding across languages and cultures.  Developmental Psychology, 44, 523-531.  
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Seamans, E. L. (2008). Intergenerational transmission of theory-of-mind. Developmental Science, 11, 354-360.
    Kalish C. W. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2007). Conventionality and cognitive development: Learning to think the right wayNew Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 115, 1-9.  
    Moses, L. J. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2007). Interactions between domain specific and domain general processing in the development of children's theory of mind. In M. J. Roberts (Ed.) Integrating the mind: Domain general versus domain specific processes in higher cognition (pp. 275-291). New York: Psychology Press.  
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Henderson, A. M. E. (2007). How an appreciation of conventionality shapes early word learningNew Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 115, 25-38.

    Sabbagh, M. A. (2006). Neurocognitive bases of preschoolers' theory-of-mind development: Integrating cognitive neuroscience and cognitive development. In  P. Marshall & N. Fox (Eds.). The Development of Social Engagement: Neurobiological Perspsectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Sabbagh, M. A., Henderson, A. M. E. & Baldwin, D. A. (2006). What infants' understanding of referential intentions tells us about the neuro-cognitive underpinnings of word learning. In R. Flom, K. Lee, & D. Muir (Eds),  Gaze-Following: Its development and significance (pp. 171-192). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.  
    Sabbagh, M. A., Moses, L. J., & Shiverick, S. M. (2006). Executive functioning and preschoolers' understanding of false beliefs, false photographs, and false signsChild Development, 77, 1034-1049.  
    Sabbagh, M. A., Xu, F., Carlson, S. M., Moses, L. J., Lee, K., (2006). Executive functioning and theory of mind in preschool children from Beijing, China: Comparisons with U.S. preschoolersPsychological Science,  17, 74-81.
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Flynn, J. (2006). Mid-frontal EEG alpha asymmetries predict individual differences in one aspect of theory of mind: Mental state decoding.  Social Neuroscience, 1, 299-308.  

    Harkness, K. L., Sabbagh, M. A., Jacobson, J. A., Chowdrey, N., & Chen, T. (2005).  Sensitivity to subtle social information in dysphoric college students: Evidence for an enhanced theory of mind. Cognition and Emotion, 19, 999-1026. (order of 1st two authors is alphabetical).

    Lee, L., Harkness, K. L., Sabbagh, M. A., & Jacobson, J. A. (2005). Mental state decoding abilities in clinical depressionJournal of Affective Disorders, 86, 247-258.
    Moses, L. J., Carlson, S. M., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2005). On The Specificity of the Relation between Executive Function and Children's Theories of Mind. In W. Schneider, R. Schumann-Hengsteler & B. Sodian (Eds.), Young Children's Cognitive Development: Interrelationships among Executive Functioning, Working Memory, Verbal Ability, and Theory of Mind(pp. 131-145). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
    Sabbagh, M. A., & Baldwin, D. A. (2005). Understanding the role of perspective taking young children's word learning. In N. Eilan, C. Hoerl, T. McCormack, & J. Roessler (Eds.). Joint Attention: Communication and other minds. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    Callanan, M. A. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2004). Multiple labels in conversations between young children and their mothers. Developmental Psychology, 40, 746-763.

    Sabbagh, M. A. (2004). Recognizing and reasoning about mental states: Understanding orbitofrontal contributions to theory of mind and autismBrain and Cognition, 55, 209-219.  

    Liu, D., Sabbagh, M. A., Gehring, W. J., & Wellman, H. M. (2004). Decoupling beliefs from reality in the brain: An ERP study of theory of mindNeuroReport. 15, 991-995.  
    Saylor, M. M., Baldwin, D. A., Sabbagh, M. A. (2004). Coordinating multiple sources of information in word learning .  In G. Hall; S. Waxman (Eds.)  Weaving a Lexicon. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.  
    Saylor, M. M. & Sabbagh, M. A. (2004). Different kinds of information affect word learning in the preschool years: The case of part-term learningChild Development, 75, 395-408.
    Sabbagh, M. A., Moulson, M., Harkness, K. L. (2004). Neural correlates of mental state recognition in human adults: An ERP study .   Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 16, 415-426.
    2003 and Earlier

    Sabbagh, M. A., Wdowiak, S. & Ottaway, J. M. (2003). Do word learners ignore ignorant speakers? Journal of Child Language, 30, 905-924.

    Saylor, M. M., Sabbagh, M. A., & Baldwin, D. A. (2002). Children use implicit contrast as a pragmatic cue to word meaning.  Developmental Psychology, 38, 993-1103.
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Baldwin, D. A. (2001). Learning words from knowledgeable versus ignorant speakers: Links between preschoolers’ theory of mind and semantic developmentChild Development, 72, 1054-1070.
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Gelman, S. A. (2000). Buzzsaws and Blueprints: What children need (or don’t need) to learn languageJournal of Child Language, 22, 715-726. Followed by commentary and response.
    Sabbagh, M. A.Taylor, M. (2000). Neural correlates of theory of mind reasoning in adults: An event-related potential studyPsychological Science, 11, 46-50.
    Callanan, M. A., Cervantes, C. A., Sabbagh, M. A. (1999). Conversation and conceptual development: Challenges, alternatives and future directions.  Human Development, 42 , 356-361.
    Sabbagh, M. A. (1999). Communicative intentions and language: Evidence from right hemisphere damage and autism.  Brain and Language, 70, 29-69.
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Clegg, B. A. (1999). Some costs of assimilating data to the implicit/explicit distinction.  Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 22, 783-784.
    Sabbagh, M. A. & Callanan, M. A. (1998). Metarepresentation in action: Children’s theories of mind developing and emerging in parent-child conversations.  Developmental Psychology, 34, 491-502.
    Taylor, M. & Sabbagh, M. A. (1996). Review of Children Talk About the Mind.  Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 42, 612-619.

    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000