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The Adolescent Brain

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Adolescence is a time characterised by change – hormonally, physically, psychologically and socially. In the past decade, research has shown that the brain develops both structurally and functionally during adolescence. Large scale Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) studies have demonstrated development during adolescence in white matter and grey matter volumes in several brain regions. Activity in some brain regions, as measured using functional MRI (fMRI), also shows changes between adolescence and adulthood during a variety of social and decision-making tasks. Recent experimental evidence also points to adolescence as a period of change in terms of behaviour such as taking another person’s perspective, risk-taking, peer influence, decision-making and introspection

Biography Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL . She is Leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Sarah-Jayne studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University (1993-1996) and then did her PhD (1996-2000) at the UCL Functional Imaging Lab with Professors Chris Frith and Daniel Wolpert, investigating the self-monitoring of action in healthy individuals and people with schizophrenia. Sarah-Jayne has an interest in the links between neuroscience and education. She sits on the Royal Society BrainWaves working group for neuroscience, education and lifelong learning, and the Royal Society Vision for Science and Mathematics Education 5-19 Committee. She is co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience.

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