Josef Perner – Publications

Complete list of publications (PDF)

Recent publications

In press

  • Rafetseder, E., O’Brian, C., Leahy, B., & Perner, J. (accepted 09 November 2020). Extended difficulties with counterfactuals persist in reasoning with false beliefs: Evidence for Teleology-in-Perspective. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology.
  • Perner, J., Aichhorn, M., Tholen, M., & Schurz, M. (in press). “Mental files and teleology,” in K. Ochsner & M. Gilead (Eds.) The Neural Bases of Mentalizing.  Springer Press.


  • Tholen, M. G., & Perner, J. (2020). Kognitive und neuronale Grundlagen des Identitätsbewusstseins. In F. Gmainer-Pranzl & B. Mackinger (Eds.), Identitäten – Zumutungen für Wissenschaft und Gesellschaft (Salzburger interdisziplinäre Diskurse, Bd. 9). Frankfurt a.M., Germany: Peter Lang Verlag.
  • Doherty, M. J. & Perner, J. (2020). Mental Files: Developmental integration of dual naming and theory of mind. Developmental Review, 56, 100909. [Download article]
  • Arora, A., Pletzer, B., Aichhorn, M., & Perner, J. (2020). What’s in a hub?—Representing identity in language and mathematics. Neuroscience, 432, 104–114. [Download article]
  • Priewasser, B., Fowles, F. A., Schweller, K., & Perner, J. (2020). Mistaken Max befriends Duplo Girl: No difference between a standard and an acted-out false belief task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 191, 104756. [Download article]


  • Kronbichler, L., Stelzig-Schöler, R., Pearce, B. G., Tschernegg, M., Said-Yürekli, S., Crone, J. S., … & Perner, J. (2019). Reduced spontaneous perspective taking in schizophrenia. Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, 292, 5-12.
  • Tholen, M., Schurz, M., & Perner, J. (2019). The role of the IPL in person identification. Neuropsychologia, 129, 164-170. [Download article]


  • Poulin-Dubois, D., Hannes Rakoczy, Kimberly Burnside, Cristina Crivello, Sebastian Dörrenberg, Katheryn Edwards, Jason Low, Horst Krist, Louisa Kulke, Ulf Liszkowski, Josef Perner, Lindsey Powell, Beate Priewasser, Eva Rafetseder, Ted Ruffman. (2018). Do infants understand false beliefs? We don’t know yet– A commentary on Baillargeon, Buttelmann and Southgate’s commentary. Cognitive Development, 48, 302-315. [Download article]
  • Schurz, M., Kronbichler, M., Weissengruber, S., Surtees, A., & Perner, J. (2018). Avatars and arrows in the brain: Which question are we asking? NeuroImage, 181, 814–817. [Download article]
  • Priewasser,B., Rafetseder, E., Gargitter, C. & Perner J. (2018). Helping as an early indicator of a theory of mind: Mentalism or Teleology? Cognitive Development, 46, 69-78.
    Special issue on replication of infant false belief studies. [Download article]
  • Schuwerk, T., Priewasser, B., Sodian, B. & Perner J. (2018). The Generalizability and Robustness of Spontaneous False Belief Tests. A Replication Attempt. Royal Society Open Science, 5(5), 172273. [Download article]
  • Perner, J., Priewasser, B., & Roessler, J. (2018). The Practical Other: Teleology and its development. Interdisciplinary Science Reviews. 43 (2), 99-114.
    Special issue for “The Fascination with the Unknown: The Other,“ contributions from an international symposium under the tutelage of the “Junge Akademie an der Berlin-Brandenburgischen Akademie der Wissenschaften und der nationalen Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina,” in Leipzig, 28-29 October 2016. [Download article]
  • Rafetseder, E. & Perner, J. (2018). Belief and Counterfactuality: A teleological theory of belief attribution. Zeitschrift für Psychologie. 226(2), 110–121.
    Special issue: “Theory of mind across the lifespan,” edited by Daniel Bernstein. [Download article]
  • Huemer, M., Leahy, B. & Perner, J. (2018). Mental Files Theory of Mind: When do children consider agents acquainted with different identities of an object? Cognition. 171, 122-129. [Download article]


  • Schmid, B., Karg, K., Perner, J., & Tomasello, M. (2017). Great apes are sensitive to prior reliability of an informant in a gaze following task. PlosOne, 12(11), e0187451. [Download article]
  • Schurz, M., Tholen, M., Perner, J., Mars, R., & Sallet, J. (2017). Specifying the brain anatomy underlying temporo-parietal junction activations for theory of mind: A review with probabilistic atlases from different imaging modalities. Human Brain Mapping. 38 (9), 4788–4805.  DOI: 10.1002/hbm.23675 [Download article]
  • Kloo, D., Rohwer, M., & Perner, J. (2017). Explicit and implicit admission of ignorance by Children. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology, 159, 279–295. [Download article]
  • Arora, A., Schurz, M., & Perner, J. (2017). Systematic Comparison of Brain Imaging Meta-Analyses of ToM with vPT,” BioMed Research International, 12 pages.  doi:10.1155/2017/6875850. [Download article]



  • Schurz, M. & Perner, J. (2015). An evaluation of neurocognitive models of Theory of Mind. Frontiers in Psychology, 6. [Download article]
  • Perner, J. & Esken, F. (2015). Evolution of human cooperation in Homo Heidelbergensis: Teleology versus mentalism. Developmental Review, 38, 69-88.
    Special Issue on “Recent advances in cognitive-developmental theory”, guest editor Pierre Barrouillet. [Download article]
  • Roessler, J. & Perner, J. (2015). Pro-social cognition: helping, practical reasons, and ‘theory of mind’. Phenomenology & the Cognitive Sciences, 14, 755-767.   DOI 10.1007/s11097-015-9438-7
    Special issue on “Origins of Normativity,” edited by Glenda Satne. [Download article]
  • Perner, J., Huemer, M., & Leahy, B. (2015). Mental Files and Belief: A cognitive theory of how children represent belief and its intensionality. Cognition, 145, 77-88. [Download article]
  • Arora, A., Weiss, B., Schurz, M., Aichhorn, M., Wieshofer, A., & Perner, J. (2015). Left Inferior-Parietal Lobe Activity in Perspective Tasks: Identity statements. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 9:360. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2015.00360 [Download article]
  • Schurz, M., Kronbichler, M.,  Weissengruber, S., Surtees, A., Samson, D., & Perner, J. (2015). Clarifying the role of theory of mind areas during visual perspective taking: Issues of domain-specificity and spontaneity. Neuroimage, 117, 386-396. [Download article]


  • Wimmer, H. & Perner, J. (1979). Kognitionspsychologie. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer.
  • Perner, J. (1991). Understanding the representational mind. Cambridge, MA: Bradford Books/MIT-Press.   [Download book]
  • Perner, J. (forthcoming). Mental Files in Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press.