Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain

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PublicAffairs, May 15, 2018 - Psychology - 256 pages
A tour through the groundbreaking science behind the enigmatic, but crucial, brain developments of adolescence and how those translate into teenage behavior
The brain creates every feeling, emotion, and desire we experience, and stores every one of our memories. And yet, until very recently, scientists believed our brains were fully developed from childhood on. Now, thanks to imaging technology that enables us to look inside the living human brain at all ages, we know that this isn't so. Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, one of the world's leading researchers into adolescent neurology, explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers--namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence--with profound implications for the adults these young people will become.
Drawing from cutting-edge research, including her own, Blakemore shows:
  • How an adolescent brain differs from those of children and adults
  • Why problem-free kids can turn into challenging teens
  • What drives the excessive risk-taking and all-consuming relationships common among teenagers
  • And why many mental illnesses--depression, addiction, schizophrenia--present during these formative years
Blakemore's discoveries have transformed our understanding of the teenage mind, with consequences for law, education policy and practice, and, most of all, parents.

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User Review  - paulusm - LibraryThing

Very accessible and clearly written summary of the science around adolescent brain development. Blakemore is careful to avoid exaggerated claims and to highlight the complexity around causality in e.g. cannabis and schizophrenia. Particularly liked the presentation of the graphs Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - PDCRead - LibraryThing

The very nerve centre of the human body is the brain. Its input is our senses, the memory helps us to learn from mistakes and controls the reactions that are needed. For hundreds of years, the brain ... Read full review

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About the author (2018)

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. She has published over 120 papers in scientific journals, and won multiple major awards for her research, including the BPS Spearman Medal 2006, the Turin Young Mind & Brain Prize 2013, the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award 2013, and the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize 2015. She was named in the Times Young Female Power List 2014 and was one of only four scientists on the Sunday Times 100 Makers of the 21st Century 2014.

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