University of Calgary

Valerie San Juan

  • Postdoctoral Associate
  • Sessional Instructor

Research Interests:

My research program focuses on the mechanisms by which children learn to apply social cognitive abilities (e.g., theory of mind) in order to improve social functioniong. To date, most research on theory of mind has focused on when children develop the ability to reason about the desires and beliefs of others. My research program is distinct because I focus on how children's ability to represent and draw inferences about others' mental states changes with development. To address this issue, my research has centered on two broad research questions: (1) Which factors contribute to children's implicit and explicit reasoning about mental states, and (2) How does the efficiency of children's mental state reasoning affect related social abilities such as spoken communication?

Research Support:

SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellowship
Eyes High Postdoctoral Fellowship

Representative Publications

Graham, S. A., San Juan, V., & Vukatana, E. (2016). The acquisition of words. In E. L. Bavin & L. Naigles (Eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Child Language (2nd ed.).

San Juan, V., Khu, M, & Graham, S. A. (2015). A new perspective on children’s communicative perspective taking: When and how do children use perspective inferences to inform spoken language comprehension? Child Development Perspectives, 9(4), 245-249.

Grossman, M., Peskin, J., & San Juan, V. (2013). Thinking about a reader’s mind: Fostering communicative clarity in the compositions of youth with autism spectrum disorders. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 43(10), 2376-2392.

San Juan, V. & Astington, J. W. (2012). Bridging the gap between implicit and explicit understanding: How language development promotes the processing and representation of false belief. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 30(1), 105-122.

Chambers, C.G., & San Juan, V. (2008). Perception and presupposition in real-time language comprehension: Insights from anticipatory processing. Cognition, 108, 26-50.

Curriculum Vitae


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