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David Liu


Contact Information

Assistant Professor
Phone: (858) 822-3680
Office: McGill 4316
Email: davidliu@ucsd.edu
Web: psy2.ucsd.edu/~davidliu/

Research Interests

Dr. Liu welcomes contact from undergraduate students and potential graduate students interested in joining his lab.

My primary research aim is to understand the development of social concepts and how one reasons about causes of people's actions. One focus is on the emergence of theory of mind, the ability to attribute mental states as causes of actions, in early childhood. My lab uses behavioral and event-related brain potential (ERP) methodologies with children and adults to investigate the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying developmental changes in this domain. A related line of research examines additional aspects of social-cognitive development, such as reasoning about people's traits. My research addresses fundamental questions about how the human mind develops and has implications for understanding developmental disorders that involve social and communicative deficits, such as autism.

Selected Publications

  • Neural correlates of belief- and desire-reasoning in 7- and 8-year-old children: an event-related potential study (2012). Bowman, Lindsay C.; Liu, David; Meltzoff, Andrew N.; et al. DEVELOPMENTAL SCIENCE, 15, 5, 618-632.
  • The Development of Distrust (2011). Vanderbilt, Kimberly E.; Liu, David; Heyman, Gail D. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 82, 5, 1372-1380.
  • Neural Correlates of Belief- and Desire-Reasoning (2009). Liu, David; Meltzoff, Andrew N.; Wellman, Henry M. CHILD DEVELOPMENT, 80, 4, 1163-1171.

Updated Jan 2013