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Kang Lee

Professor (CSE/DPE)

Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study

56 Spadina Road, Room 305
Tel: 416-934-4503 or 416-978-3064
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 (visit website for complete list)

Child Deception Papers (sample, 2013-current)

Chiu Loke, I., Heyman, G. D., Itakura, S., Toriyama, R., & Lee, K. (2014). Japanese and American children's moral evaluations of reporting on transgressions. Developmental Psychology, 50(5), 1520-1531. [link to pdf]

Ding, X. P., Omrin, D. S., Evans, A.D., Fu, G., Chen, G., & Lee, K. (2014). Elementary school children's cheating behavior and its cognitive correlates. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 121, 85-95. [link to pdf]

Lee, K., Talwar, V., McCarthy, A., Ross, I., Evans, A., & Arruda, C. (2014). Can classic moral stories promote honesty in children? Psychological Science, 1-7. [link to pdf]

Williams, S. M., Talwar, V., Lindsay, R. C. L., Bala, N., & Lee, K. (2014). Is the truth in your words? Distinguishing children’s deceptive and truthful statements. Journal of Criminology, 2014, 1-9. [link to pdf]

Zhang, Z., Heyman, G. D., Fu, G., Zhang, D., Yang, Y., & Lee, K. (2014). Children’s belief about self-disclosure to friends regarding academic achievement. Social Development, 1-14. [link to pdf]

Brunet, M. K., Evans, A. D., Talwar, V., Bala, N., Lindsay, R. C. L., & Lee, K. (2013). How children report true and fabricated stressful and non-stressful events. Psychiatry, Psychology and Law. Online Publication. doi: 10.1080/13218719.2012.750896 [link to pdf]

Ding, X. P., Sai, L., Fu, G., Liu, J., & Lee, K. (2013). Neural correlates of second-order verbal deception: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study. NeuroImage, 87, 505-514. [link to pdf]

Ding, X., Gao, X., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2013). Neural correlates of spontaneous deception: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) study. Neuropsychologia, 51(4), 704-712. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2012.12.018 [link to pdf]

Evans, A.D., & Lee, K. (2013). Emergence of lying in very young children. Developmental Psychology, 49(10), 1958-1963. [link to pdf]

Lau, Y. L., Cameron, C. A., Chieh, K. M., O’Leary, J., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2013). Cultural differences in moral justifications enhance understanding of Chinese and Canadian children’s moral decisions. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 44, 461-477. doi: 10.1177/0022022112453315 [link to pdf]

Lee, K. (2013). Little liars: Development of verbal deception in children. Child Development Perspectives, 7(2), 91-96. doi: 10.111/cdep.12023. [link to pdf]

Li, Q., Heyman, G. D., Xu, F., & Lee, K. (2013). Young children’s use of honesty as a basis for selective trust. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 117, 59-72. [link to pdf]

Li, Y., Li, H., Decety, J., & Lee, K. (2013). Experiencing a natural disaster alters children's altruistic giving. Psychological Science. Online Publication. doi: 10.1177/0956797613479975 [link to pdf]

Saykaly, C., Talwar, V., Lindsay, R. C. L, Bala, N., & Lee, K. (2013). The influence of multiple interviews on the verbal markers of children's deception. Law and Human Behavior, 37, 187-96. doi: 10.1037/lhb0000023

Xu, F., Evans, A. D., Li, C., Li, Q., Heyman, G., & Lee, K. (2013). The role of honesty and benevolence in children's judgements of trustworthiness. International Journal of Behavioural Development, 37(3), 257-265. doi: 10.1177/0165025413479861 [link to pdf]

Yi, L., Pan, J., Fan, Y., Zou, X., Wang, X., & Lee, K. (2013). Children with autism spectrum disorder are more trusting than typically developing children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Online Publication. doi: 10.1016/j.jecp.2013.05.005 [link to pdf]

Face Processing Papers (Sample, 2013-current)

Bartlett, M. S., Littlewort, G. C., Frank, M. G., & Lee, K. (2014). Automatic decoding of facial movements reveals deceptive pain expressions. Current Biology, 24, 738-743. 

Dupierrix, E., Hillairet de Boisferon, A., Méary, D., Lee, K., Quinn, P. C., Di Giorgio, E., . . . Pascalis, O. (2014). Preference for human eyes in human infants. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 123, 138-146.

Hu, C., Wang, Q., Fu, G., Quinn, P. C., & Lee, K. (2014). Children and adults scan faces of own and other races differently. Vision Research, 102, 1-10. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2014.05.010

Liu, J., Wang, Z., Feng, L., Li, J., Tian, J., & Lee, K. (2014). Neural trade-offs between recognizing and categorizing own- and other-race faces. Cerebral Cortex, 1-13. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhu025

Pascalis, O., Loevenbruck, H., Quinn, P. C., Kandel, S., Tanaka, J. W., & Lee, K. (2014). On the links among face processing, language processing, and narrowing during development. Child Development Perspectives8(2), 65-70. doi: 10.1111/cdep.12064

Tanaka, J. W., Quinn, P. C., Xu, B., Maynard, K., Huxtable, N., Lee, K., & Pascalis, O. (2014). The effects of information type (features vs. configuration) and location (eyes vs. mouth) on the development of face perception. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 124, 36-49.

Xiao, W. S., Fu, G., Quinn, P. C., Sun, Y., Xiao, N. G., Wang, Q., . . . Lee, K. (2014). The eye-size illusion: Psychophysical characteristics, generality, and relation to holistic face processing. Perception, 43, 265-274. doi: 10.1068/p7647

Xiao, N. G., Perrotta, S., Quinn, P. C., Wang, Z., Sun, Y. P., & Lee, K. (2014). On the facilitative effects of face motion on face recognition and its development. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 1-16. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2014.00633

Xiao, N. G., Quinn, P. C., Wheeler, A., Pascalis, O., & Lee, K. (2014). Natural, but not artificial, facial movements elicit the left visual field bias in infant face scanning. Neuropsychologia, 62, 175-183. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2014.07.017

Xiao, W. S., Quinn, P. C., Pascalis, O., & Lee, K. (2014). Own- and other-race face scanning in infants: Implications for perceptual narrowing. Developmental Psychobiology, 56(2), 262-273. doi: 10.1002/dev.21196

Anzures, G., Kelly, D.J., Pascalis, O., Quinn, P.C., Slater, A.M., de Viviés, X., & Lee, K. (2013). Own- and other-race face identity recognition in children: The effects of pose and feature composition. Developmental Psychology, June 3, 2013. Online Publication. doi: 10.1037/a0033166

Anzures, G., Quinn, P.C., Pascalis, O., Slater, A.M., Tanaka, J.W., & Lee, K. (2013). Developmental origins of the other-race effect. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 22(3), 173-178. [link to pdf]

Ding, X.P., Fu, G., & Lee, K. (2013). Neural correlates of own- and other-race face recognition in children: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy study. NeuroImage, July 25, 2013. Online Publication. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.07.051 [link to pdf] 

Liu, J., Feng, L., Li, L., Wei, W., Tian, J., & Lee, K. (2013). The neural correlates of covert recognition of familiar faces. Journal of Vision, 13(9), 408. doi: 10.1167/13/9/408 

Lee, K., Wang, Q., Fu, G., Xiao, N., Hu, C., & Quinn, P.C. (2013). Categorizing racially ambiguous faces as own- versus other-race influenceshow those faces are scanned.Journal of Vision, 13(9), 985. doi: 10.1167/13.9.985

Fu, G., Mondloch, C., Ding, X.P., Short, L., Sun, L., & Lee, K. (2013). The neural correlates of the face attractiveness aftereffect: A functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) Study. NeuroImage[link to pdf]

Haist, F., Adamo, M., Han, J., Lee, K., & Stiles, J. (2013). The functional architecture for face-processing expertise: FMRI evidence of the developmental trajectory of the core and the extended face systems. Neuropsychologia, August 12, 2013. Online Publication. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2013.08.005 [link to pdf]

Heron-Delaney, M., Quinn, P.C., Lee, K., Slater, A.M., Pascalis, O. (2013). Nine-month-old infants prefer unattractive bodies over attractive bodies. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 115, 30–41[link to pdf]

Hu, X., Evans, A., Wu, H., Lee, K., Fu, G. (2013). An interfering dot-probe task facilitates the detection of mock crime memory in a reaction time (RT)-based concealed information test. Acta Psychologica, 142(2),  278–285. doi: 10.1016/j.actpsy.2012.12.006 [link to pdf]

Li, S., Lee, K., Zhao, J., Yang, Z., He, S., & Weng, X. (2013). Neural competition as a developmental process: Early hemispheric specialization for word processing delays specialization for face processing. Neuropsychologia, 51, 950-959.

Liu, J., Wang, M., Shi, X., Feng, L., Li, L., Thacker, J.M., Tian, J., Shi, D., & Lee, K. (2013). Neural correlates of covert face processing: fMRI evidence from a prosopagnosic patient. Cerebral Cortex, February 28, 2013. Online Publication. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bht059 [link to pdf]

Sun, Y-H., Quinn, P.C., Wang, Z., Shi, H., Zhong, M., Jin, H., Ge, L., Pascalis, O., Tanaka, J., & Lee, K. (2013). Face contour is crucial to the fat face illusion. Perception42, 488-494. doi: 10.1068/p7439

Uttley, L., Hillairet de Boisferon, A., Dupierrix, E., Lee, K., Quinn, P. C., Slater, A. M., & Pascalis, O. (2013). Six-month-old infants match other-race faces with a non-native language. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 37(2), 84-89. doi: 10.1177/0165025412467583

Yi, L., Feng, C., Quinn, P. C., Ding, H., Li, J., Liu, Y., & Lee, K. (2013). Do individuals with and without autism spectrum disorder scan faces differently? A new multi-method look at an existing controversy. Autism Research, 7, 72-83.

Yi, L., Liu, Y., Quinn, P., Fan, Y., Feng, C., Mao, G., & Lee, K. (2013). Abnormality in face scanning by children wtih Autism Spectrum Disorder is limited to the eye region: Evidence from a multi-method analyses of eye-tracking. Journal of Vision, 13(9), 842. doi: 10.1167/13.9.842 [link to pdf]

Xiao, N., Quinn, P., Ge, L., & Lee, K. (2013). Facial motion facilitates featural, not holistic, processing in children, adolescents, and adults. Journal of Vision, 13(9), 96. doi: 10.1167/13.9.96

Xiao, N. G., Quinn, P.C., Ge, L., & Lee, K. (2013). Elastic facial movement influences part-based but not holistic processing. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception & Performance, February 11, 2013. Online Publication. 

Quinn, P.C., Tanaka, J. W., Lee, K., Pascalis, O., & Slater, A. M. (2013). Are faces special to infants? An investigation of configural and featural processing for the upper and lower regions of houses in 3- to 7-month-olds. Visual Cognition21(1), 23-37. doi: 10.1080/13506285.2013.764370 [link to pdf]



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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