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Queen's University

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


» Website

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 and reason about animate and inanimate objects, to interpret the behavior and infer the mental states of others, and to recognize and use tools and physical representations of space. 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 about these abilities.

Selected Publications

Kuhlmeier, V.A. (in press). The social perception of helping and hindering.  In M.D. Rutherford & V.A. Kuhlmeier (Eds.), Social Perception.  MIT/Bradford Press.

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

Dunfield, K.A., Kuhlmeier, V.A., & Murphy, L. (2013). Children's use of communicative intent in the selection of cooperative partners.  PLOS ONE, 8 (4): e61804.

Lee, V. & Kuhlmeier, V.A. (2013).  Young children show a dissociation in looking and pointing behavior in falling events.  Cognitive Development, 28, 21-30.

Sabbagh, M., Benson, J., & Kuhlmeier, V.A.  (2013).  False belief understanding in preschoolers and infants. In: M. Legerstee, D. Haley, and M. Bornstein (Eds.), The Infant Mind: Origins of the Social Brain, Guilford Press.

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.

Camilleri, J.A., Kuhlmeier, V.A., Chu, J.Y.Y.  (2010). Recognizing helpers and hinderers depends on behavioral intentions of the character and psychopathic characteristics of the observer. Evolutionary Psychology, 8, 303-316.

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

Kuhlmeier, V.A., Troje, N., and Lee, V.  (2010). Young infants detect the direction of biological motion in point-light displays.  Infancy, 15, 83-93.

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. (2005).  Symbolic insight and perseveration: Two problems facing young children on symbolic retrieval tasks.  Journal of Cognition and Development, 6, 365-380.

 Area of Specialty









Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.2000