Janice M Johnson

Professor Emeritus & Senior Scholar

Locations / Contact Info:

402A Behavioural Science - BSB
Keele Campus
Phone: 416 736 5115

Email address(es):


Faculty & School/Dept.

Faculty of Health - Department of Psychology


PhD - 1982
York University
Toronto, ON

MA - 1975
York University

BA - 1969
Long Island University


Janice Johnson is Associate Professor Emeritus in the Department of Psychology at York University, Toronto. She has been invited visiting professor at universities in Italy, the USA, and Chile. Her research interests are in cognitive development, individual differences, and cognitive process analysis. Her current research focuses on longitudinal study of metal-capacity development; children's reasoning in mathematics; measurement of attentional capacity, cognitive inhibition, and executive functions in children and adults; and effects of meditation on cognitive performance. 

Selected Publications

Pascual-Leone, J., & Johnson, J. (2021). The working mind: Meaning and mental attention in human development. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Arsalidou, M., Pascual-Leone, J., Johnson, J., & Kotova, T. (2019).The constructive operators of the working mind: A developmental account of mental-attentional capacityThe Russian Journal of Cognitive Science6(2), 44-55 (English version) 56-70 (Russian version). 

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 (pp. 67-87). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

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

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.

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 loadBrain and Behavior. doi: 10.1002/brb3.128

Howard, S. J., Johnson, J., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2013). Measurement of mental attention: Assessing a cognitive component underlying performance on standardized intelligence tests. Psychological Assessment and Test Modeling, 55(3), 250-272.

Balioussis, C., Johnson, J., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2012). Fluency and complexity in children’s writing: The role of mental attention and executive function. Rivista di Psicolinguistica Applicata / Journal of Applied Psycholinguistics, 12, 33-45.

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.

Agostino, A., Johnson, J., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2010). Executive functions underlying  multiplicative reasoning: Problem type matters. Journal of Experimental Child  Psychology, 105, 286-305.

Arsalidou, M., Pascual-Leone, J., & Johnson, J. (2010). Misleading cues improve developmental assessment of attentional capacity: The colour matching task. Cognitive Development, 25, 262-277.

Im-Bolter, N., Johnson, J., & Pascual-Leone, J. (2006). Processing limitation in children with specific language impairment: The role of executive function. Child Development, 77, 1822-1841.

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. Dai & R.S. Sternberg (Eds.), Motivation, emotion, and cognition: Perspectives on intellectual development and functioning (pp. 197-235). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.

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 Development74, 1594-1614.

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.

Johnson, J., Prior, S., & Artuso, M.  (2000). Field dependence as a factor in second language communicative production.  Language Learning, 50, 529-567.

Pascual-Leone, J., Johnson, J., Baskind, D., Dworsky, S., & Severtston, E. (2000).  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: Pergamon Press.


Association for Psychological Science

American Psychological Association

Jean Piaget Society

Psychonomic Society

Society for Research in Child Development


Currently available to supervise graduate students: No

Currently taking on work-study students, Graduate Assistants or Volunteers: No

Available to supervise undergraduate thesis projects: Yes

Current Research

Curriculum Vitae (C.V. file):

CV of Janice M Johnson