Phil Zelazo, Ph.D.

Phil Zelazo, Ph.D.

Phil Zelazo, Ph. D. is our Co-Founder and a Nancy M. and John E. Lindahl Professor at the Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota. He was formerly a Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Toronto (1993-2007).

Selected publications

  1. Zelazo, P. D., Forston, J. L., Masten, A. S., & Carlson. S. M. (2018). Mindfulness plus reflection training improves executive function in early childhood. Frontiers in Psychology, 9:208. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00208Perone, S., Almy, B., & Zelazo, P. D. (2018). Toward an understanding of the neural basis of executive function development (pp. 291-314). R. L. Gibb & B. Kolb (Eds.), The neurobiology of brain and behavioral development (2nd ed.). Amsterdam: Elsevier.Zelazo, P. D., Blair, C. B., & Willoughby, M. T. (2017). Executive function: Implications for education (NCER 2017-2000). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Research, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. This report is available on the Institute website at, E., Bezos, J., McClelland, M., Carlson. S. M., & Zelazo, P. D. (2017). Civic science for public use: Mind in the Making and Vroom. Child Development. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12892

    Meuwissen, A. S., Anderson, J. E., & Zelazo, P. D. (2017). The creation and validation of the Developmental Emotional Faces Stimulus Set. Behavior Research Methods, 49(3), 960-966. doi: 10.3758/s13428-016-0756-7.

    Doebel, S., & Zelazo, P. D. (2016). Seeing conflict and engaging control: Experience with contrastive language benefits executive function in preschoolers. Cognition, 157, 219-226.

    Woltering, S., Lishak, V., Hodgson, N., Granic, I., & Zelazo, P. D. (2016). Executive function in children with externalizing and comorbid internalizing behavior problems. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 57(1), 30-38.

    Zelazo, P. D. (2015). Executive function: Reflection, iterative reprocessing, complexity, and the developing brain. Developmental Review, 38, 55-68.

    Doebel, S., & Zelazo, P. D. (2015). A meta-analysis of the Dimensional Change Card Sort: Implications for developmental theories and the measurement of executive function in children. Developmental Review, 38, 241-268.

    Shapiro, S. L., Lyons, K. E., Miller, R. C., Butler, B., Vieten, C., & Zelazo, P. D. (2015). Contemplation in the classroom: A new direction for improving self-regulation in early childhood. Educational Psychology Review, 27, 1-30.

    Meuwissen, A. S., & Zelazo, P. D. (2014).  Hot and cool executive function: Foundations for learning and healthy development. Zero to Three, 35, 18-23.

    Gao, H. H., Zelazo, P. D., Sharpe, D., & Mashari, A. (2014). Beyond early linguistic competence: Development of children’s ability to interpret adjectives flexibly. Cognitive Development, 32, 86-102.

    Bauer, P. J., & Zelazo, P. D. (2014). The National Institutes of Health Toolbox for the Assessment of Neurological and Behavioral Function: A tool for developmental science. Child Development Perspectives, 8, 119-124.

    Zelazo, P. D., Anderson, J. E., Richler, J., Wallner-Allen, K., Beaumont, J. L., Conway, K. P., Gershon, R., & Weintraub, S. (2014). NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): Validation of executive function measures in adults. Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, 20, 620-629.

    Espinet, S. D., Anderson, J. E., & Zelazo, P. D. (2013). Reflection training improves executive function in preschool-age children: Behavioral and neural effects. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 4, 3-10.

    Doebel, S., & Zelazo, P. D. (2013). Bottom-up and top-down dynamics in young children’s executive function: labels aid 3-year-olds’ performance on the Dimensional Change Card Sort. Cognitive Development, 28, 222-232.

    Lahat, A., Helwig, C., & Zelazo, P. D. (2013). An event-related potential study of adolescents’ and young adults’ judgments of moral and social conventional violations.  Child Development, 84, 955-969.

    Benson, J., Sabbagh, M., Carlson, S. M., & Zelazo, P. D. (2013). Individual differences in executive functioning predict preschoolers’ improvement from theory-of-mind training. Developmental Psychology, 49, 1615-1627.

    Zelazo, P. D., Anderson, J. E., Richler, J., Wallner-Allen, K., Beaumont, J. L., & Weintraub, S. (2013). NIH Toolbox Cognition Battery (CB): Measuring executive function and attention. In P. D. Zelazo & P. J. Bauer (Eds.), National Institutes of Health Toolbox— Cognition Battery (NIH Toolbox CB): Validation for children between 3 and 15 years. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 78(4), 16-33.

    Ortner, C. M. N., Zelazo, P. D., Anderson, A. K. (2013). Effects of emotion regulation on concurrent attentional performance. Motivation and Emotion, 37, 346-354. doi: 10.1007/s11031-012-9310-9.

    Masten, A. S., Herbers, J. E., Desjardins, C. D., Cutuli, J. J., McCormick, C. M., Sapienza, J. K., Long, J. D., & Zelazo, P. D. (2012). Executive function skills and school success in young children experiencing homelessness. Educational Researcher, 41, 373-384.

    Zelazo, P. D., & Carlson, S. M. (2012). Hot and cool executive function in childhood and adolescence: Development and plasticity. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 354-360.

    Lahat, A., Helwig, C. C., & Zelazo, P. D.  (2012). Age-related changes in cognitive processing of moral and social conventional violations.  Cognitive Development, 27, 181-194.

    Espinet, S. D., Anderson, J. E., & Zelazo, P. D. (2012). N2 amplitude as a neural marker of executive function in young children: An ERP study of children who switch versus perseverate on the Dimensional Change Card Sort. Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience, 2, S49-S58.

    Hahn, C., Cowell, J. M., Wiprzycka , U. J., Goldstein, D., Ralph, M., Hasher, L., & Zelazo, P. D. (2012). Circadian rhythms in executive function during the transition to adolescence: The effect of synchrony between chronotype and time of day. Developmental Science, 15, 408-416.

    Zelazo, P. D., & Lyons, K. E. (2012). The potential benefits of mindfulness training in early childhood: A developmental social cognitive neuroscience perspective. Child Development Perspectives, 6, 154-160.