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Queen's University

    Jeannette Benson

     Jeannette Benson

    PhD Candidate, Queen's University

    BSc, University of Waterloo, 2005
    MA, Queen's University, 2007

    Curriculum Vitae

    T: 613.533.6407



    Psychology Department
    62 Arch Street
    Queen's University
    Kingston, ON K7L 3N6

    Research Interests

    My research aims to better understand the roles that cognitive and neuro-maturational factors play in experience-driven conceptual change, with particular emphasis on development within social domains. Research has demonstrated the importance of relevant experience in advancing children's knowledge. However, less is known about the cognitive and neuro-maturational factors that play a role in experience-driven conceptual change, and the specific mechanisms through which these processes exert their effect. In particular, my research examines the extent that experience-based conceptual advances are influenced by domain-general cognitive abilities associated with frontal lobe activity known as executive functioning skills. To effectively address my questions of interest, my research incorporates well-established measures of conceptual change (e.g., training and longitudinal paradigms) in conjunction with cutting-edge behavioural and neurobiological measures (e.g., electroencephalography as an index of neuro-maturation).

    Selected Publications

    Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles


    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, 49, 1615-1627.
    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 adaptation. Neural Networks, 23, 1043-1050.
    Benson, J. E.  & Sabbagh, M. A. (2013). The Relation between Executive Functioning and Social Cognition . In Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development.
    Sabbagh, M., Benson, J. E., & Kuhlmeier, V. A. (2013). False belief understanding in preschoolers and infants.In M. Legerstee, D. Haley, and M. Bornstein (Eds.) The Developing Infant Mind: Integrating Biology and Experience. Guilford Press.
    Benson, J. E., & Sabbagh, M. A. (2009). Theory of mind and executive functioning: A developmental neuropsychological approach. In P. D. Zelazo (Ed.), M. Chandler, & E. Crone (Eds.) Developmental Social Cognitive Neuroscience. Psychology Press: New York.

    Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000