The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain
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 in childhood. 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 – that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence into adulthood.
So what makes the adolescent brain different? What drives the excessive risk-taking or the need for intense friendships common to this age group? Why does an easy child become a challenging teenager? And why is it that many mental illnesses – depression, addiction, schizophrenia – begin during these formative years.
Drawing upon her cutting-edge research in her London laboratory, award-winning neuroscientist, Sarah-Jayne Blakemore explains what happens inside the adolescent brain, and what her team’s experiments have revealed about our behaviour, and how we relate to each other and our environment as we ?go through this period of our lives. She shows that while adolescence is a period of vulnerability, it is also a time of enormous creativity – one that should be acknowledged, nurtured and celebrated.
Our adolescence provides a lens through which we can see ourselves anew. It is fundamental to how we invent ourselves.
"The best science writing helps us to look at ourselves and our world in new ways, and does this by combining compelling storytelling with scientific depth and detail. This book not only has all of these qualities, but also has something to offer every reader - whether you are a teenager, parent of a teenager, or just interested in understanding your former teenage self." Professor Brian Cox
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor in Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge. She has published over 180 papers in scientific journals, and won multiple major awards for her research, including the British Psychological Society 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. She is a Fellow of the British Academy. Professor Blakemore has two sons and lives in Hertfordshire. Inventing Ourselves is her first solo book and is the winner of the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2018.