Juan Pascual-Leone

Professor Emeritus & Senior Scholar

Locations / Contact Info:

Rm101 BSB - 4700 Keele St.,Toronto, ON Behavioural Science - BSB
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 2100 Ext. 66148
Fax: 416 736 5814

Email address(es):


Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - Department of Psychology


Ph.D. Psychology - 1969
University of Geneva (Professor J. Piaget)

M.D. - 1957
University of Valencia


  • 2001-present Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Co-Director of Developmental Processes Laboratory, Department of Psychology, York University.
  • 1972-01 Professor, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto.
  • 1968-72 Associate Professor, Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto.
  • 1965-68 Assistant Professor in Psychology, University of British Columbia.
  • 1958-60 Specialist-resident in Psychiatry and Neurology, Medical Institute C.S. Valdecilla, University Valladolid.
  • 1957-58 Assistant M.D. in Clinical Psychiatry, "Padre Joffre" Institute, County Psychiatric Hospital, Valencia.
  • 1957-58 Assistant Medical Officer in Psychosomatic and Internal Medicine, Air Force Central Clinic, Valencia.
  • 1955-57 Internship in Clinical Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Valencia

1974-2006 Visiting Professorships:

  • University of California, Berkeley.U.S.A.
  • Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation, Jerusalem, Israel
  • Universite de Paris V, Renee Descartes,France
  • Universite de Geneve, Switzerland
  • University of Natal, Durban, South Africa
  • University of Venezuela, Caracas, Venezuela
  • Universidad Javeriana, Bogota, Columbia
  • Universidad de Valle, Cali, Columbia
  • Universidad Autonoma de Madrid, Spain
  • Universidad de Manizales, Colombia
  • University of Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Argentina
  • University of Huelva, Spain
  • University of Cadiz, Spain
  • Pontifical Catholic University of Chile
  • University of Genoa, Italy

Selected Publications


Refereed Journal Articles:

  • Milani, A., Pascual-Leone, J., Arsalidou, M. (2022). Converging evidence for domain general developmental trends of mental attentional capacity: Validity and reliability of full and abbreviated measures. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 222, 105462. Web.

  • Arsalidou M., Pascual-Leone, J., Johnson, J., & Kotova, T. (2019). The constructive operators of the working mind: A developmental account of mental-attentional capacity. The Russian Journal of Cognitive Science, 6(2), 44-55 (English version) 56-70 (Russian version).

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (2019). Growing minds have a maturing mental attention: A review of Demetriou and Spanoudis (2018). Intelligence, 72, 59-66.

  • Arsalidou, M., Pawliw-Levac, M., Sadeghi, M., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2018). Brain areas associated with numbers and calculations in children: Meta-analyses of fMRI studies. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 30, 239-250.

  • Kim, T.H.M., Pascual-Leone, J., Johnson, J., & Tamim, H. (2016). The mental-attention Tai Chi effect with older adults. BMC Psychology, 4:29.

  • Arsalidou, M., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2016). Constructivist developmental theory is needed in developmental neuroscience. npj-Science of Learning 1, 16016, 1-9. doi: 10.1038/npjscilearn.2016.16

  • Im-Bolter, N., Johnson, J., Ling, D., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2015).Inhibition: Mental control process or mental resource? Journal of Cognition and Development, 16, 666-681.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., Pascual-Leone, A., & Arsalidou, M. (2015). Neuropsychology still needs to model organismic processes “from within”. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 38, e83.

  • Howard, S.J., Johnson, J., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2014). Clarifying inhibitory control: Diversity and development of attentional inhibition. Cognitive Development, 31, 1-21

  • Arsalidou, M., Pascual-Leone, J., Johnson, J., Morris, D. & Taylor, M. J. (2013). A balancing act of the brain: Activations and deactivations driven by cognitive load. Brain and Behavior. doi: 10.1002/brb3.128

  • Im-Bolter, N., Johnson, J., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2006). Processing limitations in children with specific language impairment: The role of executive function. Child Development, 77, 822-1841.

  • Pascual -Leone, J. (2006). Mental attention, not language, may explain evolutionary growth of human intelligence and brain size. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 29, 19.

  • Johnson, J., Im-Bolter, N., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2003). Development of mental attention in gifted and mainstream children: The role of mental capacity, inhibition, and speed of processing. Child Development, 74, 1594-1614.

  • Goode, P., Goddard, P., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2001). Event-related potentials index cognitive style differences during a serial-order recall task. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 3, 123-140.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1996). Vygotsky, Piaget, and the problems of Plato. Swiss Journal of Psychology, 55, 84-92.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1995). Learning and development as dialectical factors in cognitive growth. Human Development, 38, 338-348.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., & Baillargeon, R. (1994). Developmental measurement of mental attention. International Journal of Behavioral Development, 17, 161-200.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1987). Organismic processes for neo-Piagetian theories: A dialectical causal account of cognitive development. International Journal of Psychology, 22, 531-570.

  • de Ribaupierre, A., & Pascual-Leone, J. (1984). Pour une integration des methodes en psychologie: Approaches experimentale, psychogenetique et differentielle. L'Annee Psychologique, 84, 227-250.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., & Sparkman, E. (1980).The dialectics of empiricism and rationalism: A last methodological reply to Trabasso. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 29, 88-101.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., & Goodman, D. (1979). Intelligence and experience: A neo-Piagetian approach. Instructional Science, 8, 301-367.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1970). A mathematical model for the transition rule in Piaget's developmental stages. Acta Psychologica, 32, 301-345.

Book Chapters: 

  • Pascual-Leone, J., & Johnson, J. (2017). Organismic causal models “from within” clarify developmental change and stages. In N. Budwig, E. Turiel, & P. Zelazo (Eds.), New perspectives on human development. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • Pascual-Leone J. (2014). Dialectics. In T.Teo (Ed.), Encyclopedia of critical psychology (pp. 421-428). New York: SpringerReference.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., Romero Escobar, E.M., & Johnson, J. (2012). Logic: Development of logical operations. In W. Hirstein (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior (2nd ed., pp. 538-549). New York: Elsevier.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., & Johnson, J. (2011). A developmental theory of mental attention: Its applications to measurement and task analysis. In P. Barrouillet & V. Gaillard (Eds.),Cognitive development and working memory: A dialogue between neo-Piagetian and cognitive approaches (pp. 13-46)New York: Psychology Press.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., & Johnson, J. (2005). A dialectical constructivist view of developmental intelligence. In O. Wilhelm & R. Engle (Eds.), Handbook of understanding and measuring intelligence (pp. 177-201). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., & Johnson, J. (2004). Affect, self-motivation, and cognitive development: A dialectical constructivist view. In D.Y. Dai & R.S. Sternberg (Eds.), Motivation, emotion, and cognition: Integrative perspectives on intellectual functioning and development (pp. 197-235). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

  • Pascual-Leone, J., Johnson, J.,Baskind, S., Dworsky, S., & Severtston, E. Culture-fair  assessment and the processes of mental attention. In A. Kozulin & Y. Rand (Eds.),  Experience of mediated learning: An Impact of Feuerstein's theory in education and psychology (pp. 191-214).  New York, NY: Pergamon.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1991). Emotions, development and psychotherapy: A dialectical constructivist perspective. In J. Safran & L. Greenberg (Eds.), Emotion, psychotherapy and change (pp. 302-335). New York, NY: Guilford.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1990). An essay on wisdom: Toward organismic processes that make it possible. In R.J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 244-278). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1989). An organismic process model of Witkin's field-dependence- independence. In T. Globerson & T. Zelniker (Eds.), Cognitive style and cognitive development (pp. 36-70). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.

  • Pascual-Leone, J. (1983). Growing into human maturity: Toward a metasubjective theory of adulthood stages. In P.B. Baltes & O.G. Brim (Eds.), Life-span development and behavior (Vol. 5) (pp. 117-156). New York, NY: Academic Press.

Other Research Outputs

  • 2001-present Professor Emeritus and Senior Scholar, Co-Director of Developmental Processes Laboratory, Department of Psychology, York University.
    2004-present Journal of Cognitive Education and Psychology; 1994-present Journal of Adult Development.
  • Wikipedia: Scientific career
  • YouTube: Behavioral factors necessary to maintain cognitive functions and improve problem solving with age.
  • ResearchGate: Juan Pascual - Leone



Association for Psychological Science

Jean Piaget Society


Doctor Honoris Causa in Psychology, University of Valencia, Spain - 2023

Int'l. Honorary Member, Academy of Psychology of Spain - 2021

York University Research Leader - 2018

Fellow - Association for Psychological Science (APS) - 2018

Fellow - Calumet College, York University - 2008

Doctor Honoris Causa in Psychology, University of Cyprus - 2006

Int'l. Honorary Member, Venezuelan Society of School Psychology - 1993

Fellow Scholar - Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation - 1979

Fellow - Canadian Psychological Association - 1975

Postdoctoral Fellowship, Foundations' Fund for Research in Psychiatry - 1964

Legacy Scholar Award, Jean Piaget Society - 2022


Currently available to supervise graduate students: No

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: Yes

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: Yes

Current Research

Developmental and learning processes throughout the life-span. Logical methods of process and task analysis. Constructive epistemology. Cognitive processes and their neuropsychological foundations. Endogenous Brain Evoked Potentials and fMRI. Human differences in intelligence, cognition, learning, affect, motivation, and self development. Methods of human change (e.g., educational psychology, meditation techniques, psychotherapy, behaviour modification).

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Juan Pascual-Leone