Blakemore studies the social brain, the network of brain regions involved in understanding other people, and how it develops in adolescence. View the talk, and see if you recognize behavior in your fellow students, or even in yourself.

Why you should listen:

New brain imaging research and clever experiments are revealing how the cortex develops — the executive part of the brain that handles things like planning, self-awareness, analysis of consequences and behavioral choices. It turns out that these regions develop more slowly during adolescence, and in fascinating ways that relate to risk-taking, peer pressure and learning.

Who is she:

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London and co-director of the Wellcome Trust PhD Program in Neuroscience at UCL.


  1. How long does brain development last? How is that different from past thinking?
  1. What kinds of actions are controlled by the pre-frontal cortex?
  1. What is synaptic pruning?
  1. How do cognitive decisions shift with age?
  1. Why do teens have a hard time understanding the perspective of others?
  1. What is the relationship between risk-taking and risk avoidance, in terms of the limbic system and the development of the pre-frontal cortex in adolescents?

The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain with Sarah-Jayne Blakemore


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