The mysterious workings of the adolescent brain – video

In this talk, Sarah, looks at why do teenagers seem so much more impulsive, so much less self-aware than grown-ups? Cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jayne Blakemore compares the prefrontal cortex in adolescents to that of adults, to show us how typically “teenage” behavior is caused by the growing and developing brain.

Sarah-Jayne studies the social brain — the network of brain regions involved in understanding other people — and how it develops in adolescents

Why you should listen

According to TED: Remember being a teenager? Rocked internally with hormones, outwardly with social pressures, you sometimes wondered what was going on in your head. So does Sarah-Jayne Blakemore. And what she and others in her field are finding is: The adolescent brain really is different.

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.

Which leads to a bigger question: How can we better target education to speak to teenagers’ growing, changing brains?

“Sarah-Jayne Blakemore emphasises that learning must be seen as a life-long process.”

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