The Adolescent Brain

The Adolescent Brain - Sarah Jayne Blakemore

In this important book Professor Sarah Jayne Blakemore explains how the brain changes, both structurally and functionally, during adolescence.

Her fascinating research career was motivated by her doctoral work on schizophrenia and a compelling interest to understand why such conditions tend to develop in adolescence.

Blakemore observes that traditional western medical training tends to give little attention to the normal workings of the brain, particularly in a developmental sense.

Written in a highly accessible style, and from a point of deep empathy, the book challenges negative societal attitudes towards teenagers as being impulsive and self-centred.

New brain scanning techniques show how sub-cortical brain areas associated with reward and emotion systems mature earlier than the ‘self-regulation’ system (located in the frontal cortex of the brain).  The research identifies those ‘hot’ and ‘cold’ contexts which can cause risk-taking or foster self-control.

A capacity for self-control is associated with positive life outcomes (health, education, life expectancy) and Blakemore’s current research explores how this capacity can be enhanced through mindfulness training.

The book offers valuable insights for educators, legislators and medical practitioners. Blakemore identifies practical implications for the design of health initiatives (eg. anti-smoking, healthy eating) so that they are autonomy supporting rather than overly authoritarian.

In counselling and hypnotherapy contexts, the research insights can be empowering for younger clients and/or parents of adolescents to better understand and navigate these developmental changes.

#adolescentbrain #goodread #neuroscienceinsight #selfcompassion #alwayslearning

#solutionfocusedhypnotherapy #teenagestress  #Anxietyrelief  #healthyminds #mentalhealthmatters #youthanxiety #schoolanxiety #universitystress #collegestress