A/Prof David James Livesey BSc, PhD (UWA), MAPsS

Position: Honorary Associate Professor

Office: Rm 420, Brennan MacCallum Building (A18)
Ph: +61 2 9351 3120
Fax: +61 2 9036 5223

Postal Address:
School of Psychology
Brennan MacCallum Building (A18)
The University of Sydney
NSW 2006



  • BSc (Hons) (UWA), 1972
  • PhD (UWA), 1981

Research Interests in Developmental Psychology

  1. Development of Executive Function: Focussing on the development of response inhibition in the preschool years. To this end, in conjunction with honours and PhD students, I have developed tasks to measure response inhibition across the age ranges 3 years to adulthood. These measures include go/no-go tests and a modified Stop-Signal Task. The latter is being used to study the development of inhibitory function and its relationship to other cognitive functions including fluid intelligence and Theory of Mind. The task has also been used to assess inhibitory control in individuals with ADHD.
  2. The link between kinaesthetic development and the development of motor skills: As part of this research I have developed a measure of kinaesthetic ability (the KAT) that is appropriate for 3 to 6 year old children and have been using this to assess kinaesthesis in young children.
    I have been collecting normative data on Australian samples on the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (MABC) and using this instrument to assess motor ability in association with KAT scores. This association has been examined both in normally developing children and with children diagnosed with Developmental Coordination Disorder.
  3. The development of cross-modal transfer from kinaesthetic to visual modalities: The link between visual movement imagery and performance on measures of kinaesthesis.
  4. The development of haptic-visual cross-modal transfer: This research is investigating ways of improving performance on haptic recognition of objects by pre-school aged children.



  1. Developmental Research Grant Scheme, Curtin University (2005). Contrasting information processing mechanisms disrupted in children with movement and/or attention problems: $15000 Piek, Hay, Livesey, Sergeant & Barrett.



  1. White, F. A., Hayes, B., & Livesey, D. (2012). Developmental Psychology: From Infancy to adulthood (3rd Ed.,). Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.
  2. White, F. A., Hayes, B., & Livesey, D. (2010). Developmental Psychology: >From Infancy to adulthood (2nd Ed.,). Sydney: Pearson Education Australia
  3. White, F. A., Hayes, B., & Livesey, D. (2005). Developmental Psychology: >From Infancy to adulthood. Sydney: Pearson Education Australia.


Recent Publications

  1. Potharst, E. S., Van Wassenaer-Leemhuis, A.G., Houtzager, B.A., Livesey, D., Kok, J.H., Flast, B. & Oosterlaan, J. (2013). Perinatal risk factors for neurocognitive impairments in preschool children born very preterm. Developmental Medicine & Child Neurology 55: 178-184.
  2. Kleitman, S., Mak, K., Young, S., Lau, P & Livesey, D. (2011). Something About Metacognition: Self-confidence factor(s) in school-aged children. In S. Boag and N. Tiliopoulos (Eds.) (pp. 103-118). Personality and Individual Differences: Theory, Assessment, and Application. New York: Nova.
  3. Livesey, D., Lum Mow, M., Toshack, T. and Zheng, Y. (2011). The relationship between motor performance and peer relations in 9- to 12-year-old children. Child: Care, Health and Development, 37(4), 581-588
  4. White, F., Hayes, B. & Livesey, D. (2010). Developmental Psychology from infancy to adulthood (2E). Sydney. Pearson Education Australia.
  5. Pasalich, D. S., Livesey, D. J. and Livesey, E. J. (2010). Performance of Stroop-like assessments of inhibitory control by 4- and 5-year-old children. Infant and Child Development, 19, 252-263
  6. Gomes, L. & Livesey, D. (2008) Exploring the link between impulsivity and peer relations in 5- and 6-year-old children. Child: Care, Health and Development, 34, 6, 763-770.
  7. Livesey, D., Coleman, R. & Piek, J. (2007) Movement ABC performance by Australian 3- to 5-year-old children. Child: Care, Health and Development. Published online Feb, 2007.
  8. Livesey, D., Keen, J., Rouse, J. & White, F. (2006). The relationship between measures of executive function, motor performance and externalising behaviour in 5- and 6-year-old children. Human Movement Science 25, 50-64.
  9. Sambuco, M. & Livesey, D. (2005). The relation between kinaesthetic acuity and skilled motor ability for primary aged female athletes and non-athletes. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist 22, 2, pp 18-28.
  10. Wyver, S. & Livesey, D.J. (2003) Kinaesthetic sensitivity and motor skills of school-aged children with a congenital visual impairment. The British Journal of Visual Impairment 21, 1, 25-31.
  11. Livesey, D.J. (2002) Age differences in the relationship between visual movement imagery and performance on kinaesthetic acuity tests. Developmental Psychology,38, 2, 279-287.
  12. Stevenson, C.S., Whitmont, S., Bornholt, L., Livesey, D., & Stevenson, R.J. (2002). A cognitive remediation programme for adults with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry 36(5), 610-616.
  13. Carver, A.C., Livesey, D.J. & Charles, M. (2001) Age related differences in Stop-Signal Task performance. International Journal of Neuroscience 107, 43-61.
  14. Carver, A.C., Livesey, D. J., & Charles, M. (2001). Further manipulation of the stop signal task: Developmental changes in the abililty to inhibit responding with longer stop signal delays. International Journal of Neuroscience, in press. International Journal of Neuroscience, 111: 39-53.
  15. Coleman, R., Piek, J.P. & Livesey, D.J. (2001). A longitudinal study of motor ability and kinaesthetic acuity in young children at risk of DCD. Human Movement Science 20, 95-110.
  16. Dowsett, S. & Livesey, D.J. (2000). The development of inhibitory control in pre-school children: Effects of ‘executive skills” training. Developmental Psychobiology 36, 2, 161-174.
  17. Coote, K. & Livesey, D.J. (1999). Optimism bias in children’s motor performance expectations. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist. 16, 2, 52-61.
  18. Livesey, D.J., Kalaizis, C. & Carver, A.C. (1999). Stop-signal performance in adults with ADHD: Evidence of a deficit in response inhibition. International Journal of Neuroscience, 97, 252.
  19. BOOK CHAPTER: Livesey, D.J. & Coleman, R. (1998). The development of kinaesthesis and its relationship to motor ability in pre-school children. In J. Piek (Ed) Motor control and human skill: A multi-disciplinary perspective. Champaign Il. Human Kinetics Pub.
  20. Coleman, R., Piek, J.P. & Livesey, D.J. (1997). Kinaesthetic acuity in preprimary children at risk of Developmental Coordination Disorder. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist 14, 1, 80 - 86.
  21. Livesey, D.J. & Kangas, M. (1997). The role of visual movement imagery in kinaesthetic sensitivity and motor performance. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist 14, 1, 2 - 10.
  22. Wyver, S.R. & Livesey, D.J. (1997). Kinaesthetic acuity and motor skills of preschool children with a congenital visual impairment: Preliminary findings. The Australian Educational and Developmental Psychologist 14, 1, 72 - 79.
  23. Livesey, D.J. & Intili, D. (1996) A Gender difference in visual-spatial ability in 4-year-old children: Effects on performance of a kinaesthetic acuity task. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 63, 436 - 446.
  24. Livesey, D.J. & Parkes,N.A. (1995) Testing kinaesthetic acuity in preschool children. Australian Journal of Psychology, 47, 3, 160 - 163.