School of Psychology

Dr Jason Low

Senior Lecturer
School of Psychology

Phone: 04 463 6721
Location: Room 507, Easterfield Building, Kelburn Pde, Kelburn Campus

Dr Jason Low

Currently Teaching

PSYC 324 - Child Development
Course Coordinator


BA (Hons), PhD University of Western Australia

Editorial Board

Associate Editor of British Journal of Developmental Psychology (

Research Interests

Theory of Mind Cognition

I am interested in the early development of our ability to ascribe complex mental states (especially beliefs) to predict behaviour (i.e., theory of mind understanding). My research focuses on the nature of false-belief theory of mind understanding in young preschool children. Current projects are examining: (1) the extent to which implicit (unconscious) false-belief understanding is sign-posted in children’s (and adults’) anticipatory looking responses; (2) how complex grammatical understanding and executive functioning bridge implicit and explicit (conscious) false-belief understanding; (3) whether there are dissociations in looking and verbal responses over a range of belief-inducing tasks; and (4) the limits of implicit theory of mind understanding. I also have interests in the evolutionary basis of theory of mind and other core cognitive capacities (e.g., animals’ sensitivity to gaze and numerical information).

Current Teaching

  • PSYC415: Early Cognitive Development (Course Coordinator)
  • PSYC324: Child Development (Course Coordinator)

Current Postgraduate Supervision

  • Bo Wang (PhD Student) – Implicit theory of mind in Mainland Chinese preschoolers.
  • Alexis Garland (PhD Student) – Core knowledge in New Zealand robins (co-supervised with Dr Kevin Burns).
  • Penny Tok (PhD Student) – Inner speech, executive function and theory of mind in ASD.

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Selected Publications

Low, J., & Watts, J. (in press). Attributing false-beliefs about object identity is a signature blindspot in humans' efficient mindreading system. Psychological Science.

Garland, A., Low, J., & Burns, K.C. (in press). Large quantity discrimination by North Island Robins (Petroica longipes). Animal Cognition.

Low, J., & Simpson, S. (2012). Effects of labeling on preschoolers’ explicit false-belief performance: Outcomes of cognitive flexibility or inhibitory control? Child Development 83: 1072-1084.

Low, J., & Perner, J. (2012). Implicit and explicit theory of mind: State of the art. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 30: 1-13.

Wang, B., Low, J., Zhang, J., & Qinghua, Q. (2012). Chinese preschoolers’ implicit and explicit false-belief understanding. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 30: 123-140.

Low, J., & Wang, B. (2011). On the long road to mentalism in children’s spontaneous false-belief understanding: Are we there yet? Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2: 411-428.

Low, J. (2010). Preschoolers’ implicit and explicit false-belief understanding: Relations with complex syntactical mastery. Child Development 81: 597–615.

Holland, L., & Low, J. (2010). Do children with autism use inner speech and visuospatial resources for the service of executive control? Evidence from suppression in dual tasks. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 28: 369–391.

Low, J., Burns, K.C., & Hauber, M.E. (2009). Wild number sense in brood parasitic Brown-headed Cowbirds. Ibis: International Journal of Avian Science, 151: 775–777.

Low, J., Goddard, E. & Melser, J. (2009). Generativity and imagination in autism spectrum disorder: Evidence from individual differences in children’s impossible entity drawings. British Journal of Developmental Psychology 20: 425–444.

Hunt, S., Low, J., & Burns, K.C. (2008). Adaptive numerical competency in a food-hoarding songbird. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 275: 2373–2379.

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