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Queen's University

Valerie Kuhlmeier

 Valerie Kuhlmeier

Associate Professor

B.A., UC San Diego, 1995
B.S., UC San Diego, 1995
M.A., Ohio State University, 1997
Ph.D., Ohio State University, 2000


» Curriculum Vitae

T: 613.533.2478  


350 Humphrey Hall

Psychology Department

Queen's University
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6


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Research Interests

My research program explores cognition from a developmental and evolutionary perspective. I examine the origins of our cognitive capacities, focusing primarily on our abilities to distinguish animate and inanimate objects, to interpret the behavior and infer the mental states of others, and to engage in prosocial behaviour. Each is examined in a comparative manner, studying infants, young children, and non-human primates. The research thus relies upon both developmental and comparative psychology theory to form and test hypotheses.

Selected Publications

Click here for a full list of publications.


Olmstead, M.C. & Kuhlmeier, V.A.  (In press). Comparative Cognition.  Cambridge University Press.

Rutherford, M.D. & Kuhlmeier, V.A. (Eds.) (2013). Social Perception: Detection and Interpretation of Animacy, Agency, and Intention. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press/Bradford Books.

Refereed Journal Articles:

Robson, S.J., Lee, V., Kuhlmeier, V.A., & Rutherford, M.D. (2014). Infants use contextual contingency to guide their interpretation of others' goal-directed behavior. Cognitive Development, 31, 69-78.

Dunfield, K.A. & Kuhlmeier, V.A. (2013). Classifying prosocial behaviour: children’s responses to instrumental need, emotional distress, and material desire. Child Development, 84, 1766-1776.

Dunfield, K.A., Kuhlmeier, V.A., O’Connell, L., & Kelley, E.  (2011). Examining the diversity of prosocial behavior: helping, sharing, and comforting in infancy. Infancy, 16(3), 227-247.

Newman, G.E., Keil, F.C., Kuhlmeier, V.A., & Wynn, K.  (2010). Early understandings of the link between agents and order.Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107, 17140-17145.

Dunfield, K.A., & Kuhlmeier, V.A.  (2010).  Intention-mediated selective helping in infancy. Psychological Science, 21, 523-527.

Yamaguchi, M., Kuhlmeier, V.A., Wynn, K., & vanMarle, K.  (2009). Continuity in Social Cognition from Infancy to Childhood. Developmental Science, 12, 746-752.

Kuhlmeier, V.A., Wynn, K., & Bloom, P.  (2003). Attribution of Dispositional States by 12-month-olds. Psychological Science, 14, 402-408.

Kuhlmeier, V.A., & Boysen, S.T.  (2002).  Chimpanzees' recognition of the spatial and object similarities between a scale model and its referent. Psychological Science, 13, 60-63.

 Area of Specialty









Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000