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Kang Lee

Professor (CSE/DPE)

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

56 Spadina Road, Room 305
Tel: 416-934-4597
Fax: 416-934-4565
Email: kang.lee@utoronto.ca

Website: http://kangleelab.com






  • Lying in children and adults;
  • Face processing 
Kang Lee

Research Interests

I have two major foci of research ~

Lying. I use experimental methods to investigate how children come to grips with the concept and moral implication of lying, whether they are gullible or able to detect others’ lies, and whether children can tell convincing lies in various social situations. I also examine the cognitive-social-cultural factors that affect children’s acquisition of conceptual and moral knowledge about lying and their ability to detect/tell lies successfully. In addition, I explore neuro-physiological correlates of lying in children and adults.

Face processing. I use psychophysical methods to study how children and adults process both stable and dynamic information in a face: how children and adults perceive, encode, and recognize different kinds of faces, and how children and adults detect and interpret others’ gaze displays in various social contexts. In addition, I explore neuro-physiological correlates of face processing in children and adults.


Research Projects/Activities

Development of Honesty and Trust in Children: East-West Comparisons (SSHRC 2014-2020)
Exploring dishonesty in children with severe conduct problems (CIHR 2013-2018)
Development of Face Processing Expertise (R01 Grants, 2004-2015, National Institute of Health, US)
Children's Moral Conceptions of Lying  (R01 Grant, 2004-2010, National Institute of Health, US)
Development of Face and Chinese Character Processing (NSERC, 2007-2012)
Children's Reports of Stressful Events: Bridging Psychological & Legal Perspectives (SSHRC) http://qsilver.queensu.ca/law/witness/witness.htm

NIH Supported Research Publications (R01 HD048962)

Applied/Clinical Interests

Children as witnesses in legal cases.


Representative Publications

Sample Peer-Reviewed Papers

Xu, F., Bao, X., Fu, G., Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (in press). Lying and truth-telling in children: From concept to action. Child Development.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2009). Children’s informational reliance during inconsistent communication: The public–private distinction. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 104, 214–228.

Xu, F., Luo, Y.C., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (in press). Children’s and adults’ conceptualization and evaluation of lying and truth-telling. Infant & Child Development.

Zhang, H., Tian, J., Liu, J., Jun Li, & Lee, K. (in press). Intrinsically organized network for face perception during the resting state. Neuroscience Letters.

Li, J., Liu, J., Liang, J., Liang, J., Zhang, H., Zhao, J., Huber, D. E., Rieth, C.A., Lee, K., & Tian, J., & Shi, G. (in press). A distributed neural system for top-down face processing. Neuroscience Letters.

Anzures, G., Quinn, P.C., Pascalis, O., Slater, A. M., & Lee, K. (in press). Categorization, Categorical Perception, and Asymmetry in Infants' Representation of Face Race. Developmental Science.

Ge, L., Zhang, H., Wang, Z., Pascalis, O., Quinn, P.C., Kelly, D., Slater, A., Tian, J., & Lee, K. (in press). Two faces of the other-race effect: Recognition and categorization of Caucasian and Chinese faces. Perception.

Kelly, D. J., Liu, S., Lee, K., Quinn, P.C., Slater, A.M., Pascalis, O., & Ge, L (in press). Development of the Other-Race Effect in Infancy: Evidence towards universality? Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

MaCarthy, A., & Lee, K. (in press). Children’s knowledge of deceptive gaze cues and its relation to their actual lying behavior. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.

Harada, T., Sadato, N., Itakura, S., Xu, F., & Lee, K. (in press). Neural correlates of the judgment of lying: a functional magnetic resonance imaging study. Neuroscience Research.

Heyman, G., Sweet, M., & Lee, K. (in press). Children's reasoning about lie-telling and truth-telling in politeness contexts. Social Development.

Leach, A., Lindsay, R., Talwar, V., Lee, K., & Bala, N. (in press). The Reliability of Lie Detection Performance. Law and Human Behavior.

Bala, N., Lee, K., Lindsay, R.C.L., & Talwar, V. (in press). Hearing the voices of children in Canada’s criminal justice system: Recognizing capacity and facilitating testimony. Canadian Bar Review.

Bala, N., Lee, K., Lindsay, R.C.D., & Talwar, V. (in press). The Competency of Children to Testify: Psychological Research Informing Canadian Law Reform. International Journal of Children’s Rights.

Liu, J., Tian, J., Li, J., Gong, Q., & Lee, K. (2009). Similarities in neural activations of face and Chinese character discrimination. Neuroreport, 20, 273–277.

Kisilevsky, B.S., Hains, S.M.J., Brown, C.A., Lee, C.T., Cowperthwaite, B., Stutzmana, S.S., Swansburga, M.L., Lee, K., Xie, X. Huang, H, Ye, H., Zhang, K, & Wang, Z. (2009). Fetal sensitivity to properties of maternal speech and language. Infant Behavior & Development, 32, 59–71.

Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2008). Social and cognitive correlates of children’s lying behavior. Child Development, 79, 866 – 881.

Boseovski, J. & Lee, K. (2008). Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses? Neglect of consensus information in preschooler’s personality judgments. Social Development, 17(2), 399-416.

Heyman, G., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2008). Reasoning about the disclosure of success and failure to friends among children in the U.S. and China. Developmental Psychology, 44, 908-918.

Eskritt, M., Whale, J., & Lee, K. (2008). Preschoolers can recognize violations of the Gricean Maxims. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 26(3), 435-443.

Fu. G., Wang, L., Evans, A. D., & Lee, K. (2008). Lying in the Name of Collective Good: A Developmental Study. Developmental Science, 11, 495–503.

Evans, A.D., Lee, K., & Lyon, T.D. (2008). Complex questions asked by defense lawyers but not prosecutors predicts convictions in child abuse trials. Law & Human Behavior.

Ge, L., Anzures, G., Zhe, W., Kelly, D., Quinn, P.C., Pascalis, O., Slater, A., & Lee, K. (2008). An inner-face advantage in children’s recognition of familiar peers. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 101, 124-136.

McCleery, J. P., Zhang, L., Ge, L., Wang, Z., Christiansen, E. M., Lee, K., & Cottrell, G.W. (2008). The roles of visual expertise and visual input in the face inversion effect: Behavioral and neurocomputational evidence. Vision Research, 48, 703–715.

Zhang, H., Liu, J., Huber, D. E., Rieth, C., Tian, J., & Lee, K. (2008). Detecting faces in pure noise images: An fMRI study on top-down perception. Neuroreport, 19, 229-233.

Quinn, P.C., Lee, K., Pascalis, O., & Slater, A. (2008). In support of an expert-novice difference in the representation of humans versus non-human animals by infants: Generalization from persons to cats occurs only with upright whole images. Cognition, Brain, & Behavior, 11, 679-694.

Quinn, P.C., Kelly, D. J., Lee, K., Pascalis, O., & Slater, A.M. (2008). Preference for attractive faces in human infants extends beyond conspecifics. Developmental Science, 11, 76–83.

Quinn, P.C., Uttley, L., Lee, K., Gibson, A. Smith, M., Slater, A., & Pascalis, O. (2008). Infant preference for female faces occurs for same- but not other-race faces. Journal of Neuropsychology, 15-26.

Kelly, D. J., Quinn, P.C., Slater, A.M., Lee, K., Ge, L., & Pascalis, O. (2007). The other-race effect develops during infancy: Evidence of perceptual narrowing. Psychological Science, 18, 1084-1089.

Talwar, V., Gordon, H., & Lee, K. (2007). Lying in elementary school years: Verbal deception and its relation to second-order belief understanding. Developmental Psychology, 43(3), 804-810.

Talwar, V., Murphy, S., & Lee, K. (2007). White lie-telling in children for politeness purposes. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 31(1), 1-11.

Moriguchi, Y., Lee, K., & Itakura, S. (2007). Social transmission of disinhibition in young children. Developmental Science, 10(2), 255-265.

Kelly, D. J., Liu, S., Ge, L., Quinn, P.C., Slater, A.M., Lee, K., Liu, Q., & P. Olivier (2007). Cross-race preferences for same-race faces extend beyond the African versus Caucasian contrast in 3-month-old infants. Infancy, 11(1), 87-95.

Heyman, G., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2007). Children’s skepticism in two cultures. Child Development, 78, 367-375.

Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2007). Social grooming in the kindergarten: The emergence of flattery behavior. Developmental Science, 10, 255-265.

Fu, G., Xu, F., Cameron, C.A., Heyman, G., & Lee, K. (2007). Cross-Cultural Differences in Children’s Choices, Categorizations, and Evaluations of Truths and Lies. Developmental Psychology, 43, 278-293.

Talwar, V., Lindsay, R.C.L., Bala, N., & Lee, K. (2006). Adults’ judgments of children’s coached reports. Law and Human Behavior, 30, 561-570.

Minato, T., Shimada, M., Itakura, S., Lee, K., & Ishiguro, H. (2006). Evaluating human likeness of an android by comparing gaze. Advanced Robotics, 20, 1147–1163.

McCarthy, A., Lee, K., Itakura, S., &Muir, D.W. (2006). Cultural display rules drive eye gaze during thinking. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 37, 717-722.

Boseovski, J. J., & Lee, K. (2006). Children’s use of frequency information for trait categorization and behavioral prediction. Developmental Psychology, 42(3), 500-513.

Ge, L., Wang, Z., McCleery, J.P., & Lee, K. (2006). The effect of face expertise activation on the inversion effect. Psychological Science, 17(1), 12-16.

Worldwide Deception Consortium (2006). A world of lies. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 37, 1-15.

Sabbagh, M., Xu, F., Carlson, S., Moses, L., & Lee, K. (2006). The development of executive functioning and theory-of-mind: A comparison of Chinese and U.S. preschoolers. Psychological Science, 17(1), 74-81.

Kelly, D. J, Quinn, P. C., Slater, A. M., Lee, K., Gibson, A., Smith, M., Ge L., & O. Pascalis (2005). Three-month-olds, but not newborns, prefer own-race faces. Developmental Science 8, 31–36 (Fast Track).

Bala, N., Duvall-Antonacopoulos, K., Lindsay, R. C. L., Lee K., & Talwar, V. (2005). Bill C- 2: A New Law for Canada’s Child Witnesses. Criminal Report, 32, 48-69.

Bala, N., Ramakrishnan, K., Lindsay, R. , & Lee, K. (2005). Judicial assessment of the credibility of child witnesses. Alberta Law Review, 42, 1-23

Leach, A. M., Talwar, V., Lee, K., Bala, N., & Lindsay, R.C.L. (2005). "Intuitive lie detection" of children’s deception by law enforcement officials and university students. Law and Human Behavior, 28, 661-85.

Freire, A., Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2004). Are eyes windows to a deceiver's soul: Children's use of another's eye gaze cues in a deceptive situation. Developmental Psychology, 40, 1093-1104.

Symons, L. A., Lee. K., Cedrone, C.C., & Nishimura, M. (2004). What are you looking at? Acuity for triadic eye gaze. Journal of General Psychology, 131, 451-469.

Talwar, V., Lee, K., Bala, N., & Lindsay, R.C.L. (2004). Children's lie-telling to conceal a parent's transgression: Legal implications. Law and Human Behavior, 28, 411-445.

Freire, A., Lee., K., Williamson, K.S., Stuart, S.J.E., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2004). Lineup identification by children: Effects of clothing bias. Law and Human Behavior, 28, 339-354.

Fritzley, V. H., & Lee, K. (2003). Do young children always say yes to yes/no questions? A metadevelopmental study of the affirmation bias. Child Development, 74, 1297-1313.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2003). Do actions speak louder than words? Preschool children's use of the verbal-nonverbal consistency principle during inconsistent communications. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27, 25-42.

Kisilevsky, B.S., Hains, S.M.J., Lee, K., Xie, X., Huang, H., Ye, H.H., Zhang K., & Wang, Z. (2003). Effects of experience on fetal voice recognition. Psychological Science, 14, 220-224.

Ge, L., Luo, J. , Nishimura, M., Lee, K. (2003). Lasting impression of Chairman Mao: Hyper-fidelity of familiar face memory. Perception, 32, 601-614.

Muir, D.W., & Lee, K. (2003). The Still-Face Effect: Methodological issues and new applications. Infancy, 4, 483-491.

K. Lee, Cameron, C.A., Doucette, J., & Talwar, V. (2002). Phantoms and fabrications: Young children’s detection of implausible lies. Child Development, 73, 1688-1702.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2002). ‘Remember where you last saw that card’: Children’s production of external symbols as a memory aid. Developmental Psychology, 38(2), 254-266.

Talwar, V., Lee, K., Bala, N., & Lindsay, R. C. L. (2002). Children's Conceptual Knowledge of Lying and Its Relation to Their Actual Behaviors: Implications for Court Competence Examinations. Law and Human Behavior, 26, 395-415.

Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2002). Development of Lying to Conceal a Transgression: Children's Control of Expressive Behavior during Verbal Deception. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 26, 436-444.

Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2002). Emergence of white lie telling in children between 3 and 7 years of age. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 48, 160-181.

Xu, F., Homer, B., & Lee, K. (2002). The effects of literacy on Chinese children's early word awareness. Psychological Science (China), 25, 672-675.

Lee, K., Xu, F., Fu, G., Cameron, C. A., & Chen, S. (2001). Taiwan and Mainland Chinese and Canadian children’s categorization and evaluation of lie- and truth-telling: A modesty effect. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 19, 525–542.

Freire, A., & Lee, K. (2001). Face Recognition in 4- to 7-Year-Olds: Processing of Configural, Featural, and Paraphernalia Information. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 86, 347-371.

Fu, G., Lee, K., Cameron, C. A., & Xu, F. (2001). Chinese and Canadian Adults’ Categorization and Evaluation of Lie- and Truth-Telling about Pro- and Anti-Social Behaviors. Journal of Cross Cultural Psychology, 32, 740-747.

Eskrrit, M., Lee, K., & Donald, M. (2001). The influence of symbolic literacy on memory: Testing Plato’s hypothesis. Canadian Journal of Experimental Psychology, 55, 39-50.

Bala, N., Lee, K., Lindsay, R., & Talwar, V. (2001). A legal & psychological critique of the present approach to the assessment of the capacity of child witnesses. Osgood Hall Law Journal, 38, 409 –452.

Bala, N., Lee, K., & Lindsay, R. (2001). R. v. M: Failing to appreciate the testimonial capacity of children. Criminal Reports, 40, 93-106.

Lee, K., & Cameron, C. A. (2000). Extracting truth information from lies: The emergence of representation-expression distinction in preschool children. Merrill Palmer Quarterly, 40, 1-20.

Friere, A., Lee, K., & Symons, L. (2000). The face inversion effect as a deficit in the encoding of configural information: Direct evidence. Perception, 29, 159-170.

Sapp, F., Lee, K., & Muir, D. (2000). Three-year-olds’ difficulty with the appearance-reality distinction: Is it real or apparent? Developmental Psychology, 36, 547-560.

Lee, K., & Freire, A. (1999). Effects of face configuration change on shape perception: A new illusion. Perception, 28, 1217-1226.

Schuman, J., Bala, N., & Lee, K. (1999). Developmentally appropriate questions for child witnesses. Queen’s Law Journal, 23, 251 - 302.

Lee, K., Olson, D., & Torrance, N. (1999). Chinese children’s understanding of false beliefs: The effect of language. Journal of Child Language, 26, 1-21.

Lee, K., & Eskritt, M. (1999). Beyond the Gricean Maxims: Conversational awareness as a multifaceted domain of knowledge (Commentary). Developmental Science, 3, 27-28.

Cameron, C. A., & Lee, K. (1999). Emergent use of English grammatical morphemes by Chinese-speaking children. International Review of Applied Linguistics, 36, 43-58.

Lee, K., Eskritt, M., Symons, L., & Muir, D. (1998). Children’s use of triadic eye gaze information for "mind reading". Developmental Psychology, 34, 525-539.

Kisilevski, B., Haines, S., Lee, K., Muir, D., Xu, F., Fu, G., Zhao, Z., & Yang, M. (1998). The still-face effect in Chinese and Canadian 3- to 6-month-old infants. Developmental Psychology, 34, 629-639.

Lee, K., Karmiloff- Smith, A., Cameron, C. A., Dodsworth, P. (1998). Notational adaptation in children. Canadian Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 30, 159-171.

Lee, K., Cameron, C. A., Xu, F., Fu, G, & Board, J. (1997). Chinese and Canadian children’s evaluations of lying and truth-telling. Child Development, 64, 924-924.

Lee, K., & Ross, H. (1997). The concept of lying in adolescents and young adults: Testing Sweetser’s folkloristic model. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 43, 255-270.

Cameron, C. A., & Lee, K. (1997). The development of children’s telephone communication. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 18, 55-70.

Lindsay, R.C.L., Craig, W., Lee, K., Pozzulo, J., Corber, S., Rombough, V., & Smyth, L. (1997). Eyewitness identification procedures when the witness is a child. Law and Human Behavior, 391-404.

Cameron, C. A., & Lee, K. (1997). Bridging home and school with voice-mail technology. Journal of Educational Research, 90, 182-190.

Lee, K., & Karmiloff-Smith, A. (1996). The development of cognitive constraints on notations. Archieves de Psychologie, 64, 3-25.

Lee, K. & Chen, L. (1996). The development of metacognitive knowledge of basic motor skill: Walking. Genetic Psychology, 157, 361-375.

Lee, K., Cameron, C. A., Linton, M. & Hunt, A. (1994). Referential place-holding in the acquisition of English articles by Chinese-speaking children. Applied Psycholinguistics, 15, 29-43.

Cameron, C. A., Lee, K., Webster, S., Munro, K., Linton, M. & Hunt, A. (1995). Text cohesion in English-speaking children’s narrative writing. Applied Psycholinguistics, 16, 257-269.

Lee, K., Lu, J., & Xu, F. (1991). Screening learning disabled children in primary school. Journal of Hangzhou University, 18. (In Chinese).

Lee, K. (1990). The development of inductive reasoning of children aged 5 to 15. In F. Liu (Ed.), Recent research in mental development (pp. 97-109). Beijing, China: Beijing Normal College Press. (In Chinese).

Lee, K. (1989). Current trends in child development research in China. Chinese Journal of Applied Psychology, 3, 16-20.


Lee, K. Lee, K. & Talwar, V.(contracted). Child and lying: A century of scientific research. Oxford, UK.: Blackwell.

Flom, R., Lee, K. & Muir, D.(Eds., 2007). Ontogeny of gaze processing: Its development and significance. Lawrence Earlbuam.

Lee, L. (1999, Ed.). Blackwell’s reader in cognitive development. Oxford, UK.: Blackwell. 

Book Chapters

Lee, K., Anzures, G., Quinn, P.C., Pascalis, O., & Slater, A. (in press). Development of face processing expertise. In A. J. Calder, G. Rhodes, J.V. Haxby, & M. H. Johnson (Eds.), Handbook of face processing. Oxford University Press. (Eds.), Handbook of Face Processing. Oxford University Press.

Lee, K., Quinn, P.C., Pascalis, O., & Slater, A. (in press). Development of face processing abilities. In Zelazo, Ph. (Ed.), Oxford Handbook of Developmental Psychology. Oxford University Press.

Slater, A.M., Riddell, P., Quinn, P.C., Pascalis, O., Lee, K., & Kelly, D.J. (in press). Visual perception. In G. Bremner & T. Wachs (Eds.), Blackwell Handbook of Infant Development, 2nd Edition. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.

Quinn, P.C., Lee, K., Pascalis, O., & Slater, A. (in press). Face perception. In B. Goldstein (Ed.), Sage Encyclopedia of Perception. Sage.

Lee, K., & Evans, A. (in press). Development of social pragmatics of deceptive communication. In T. Matsui (Ed.), Pragmatics and theory of mind. New York: John Benjamins.

Talwar, V., & Lee, K. (2008). Little liars: How children learn to do deceptive things with words? In S. Itakura & K. Fujita (Eds.), Origins of the social mind: Evolutionary and developmental views. Springer.

Bartlett, M., Littlewort, G., Vural, E., Lee, K., Cetin, M., Ercil, A., & Movellan, J. (2008). Data mining spontaneous facial behavior with automatic expression coding. In A. Esposito, N.G. Burbakis, N. Avouris, & I. Hatzilygenroudis (Eds.), Verbal and nonverbal features of human-human and human-machine interaction. Berlin: Springer.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2007). Young children’s processing of eye gaze information for “mind-reading” purposes. In R. Flom, K. Lee, & D. Muir (Eds.), Ontogeny of gaze processing (pp.243-262). Lawrence Earlbuam.

Eskritt, M., & Lee, K. (2007). The impact of notation on cognition & its development: Theoretical perspectives & empirical evidence. In L. Tolchinsky & E Teubal (Eds.), The development of notational representations (pp.233-256). Sense Publishers.


Please email me at kang.lee@utoronto.ca for a reprint request. 



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