Adolescent brains are awesome.

Adolescent brains

I love TED talks! There is nothing quite as awesome as a snippet of bite sized informative goodness wrapped in a video. TED talks make us think very differently about the world we live in. They help us to dream and learn and hope for the future. One area in whichTED talks have enriched my work is in understanding brain development.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London. Her research covers the development of social cognition and decision-making during human adolescence. She is Co-Director of the Wellcome Trust PhD Programme in Neuroscience at UCL, Editor-in-Chief of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience journal and was a scientific consultant on the television documentary “The Human Mind” in 2003. She is a member of Royal Society BrainWaves working group for neuroscience and the Royal Society Vision Committee for Maths and Science Education.

In this Talk Prof. Blakemore brings us an animated look at the inner workings of the adolescent brain. Much of what we have thought about brain development over the past few decades is slowly being re-thought. With the advent of Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (FMRI) we are beginning to see the inner workings of the brain while the brain is working. We don’t have to wait for a person to die to cut into their brain to see whats inside.

We now know that the period of adolescence sees a significant growth in grey matter. A growth spurt to provide the space for the significant intellectual growth that occurs during these formative years. Particularly the growth in the prefrontal cortex, the brains reasoning centre, seems to increase during this stage. Anyway, enough from me. Over to Professor Blakemore for more interesting insights into adolescent brains.


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Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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