Development of the adolescent brain: implications for executive function and social cognition. [Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't Review]

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, University College London, UK.
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry (Impact Factor: 6.46). 03/2006; 47(3-4):296-312. DOI: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2006.01611.x
Source: PubMed


Adolescence is a time of considerable development at the level of behaviour, cognition and the brain. This article reviews histological and brain imaging studies that have demonstrated specific changes in neural architecture during puberty and adolescence, outlining trajectories of grey and white matter development. The implications of brain development for executive functions and social cognition during puberty and adolescence are discussed. Changes at the level of the brain and cognition may map onto behaviours commonly associated with adolescence. Finally, possible applications for education and social policy are briefly considered.

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    • ", 2002 ] . The time course for many cortical changes are complete by late adolescence [ Blake - more , 2012 ; Blakemore and Choudhury , 2006 ; Giedd et al . , 1999 ; Giedd et al . "
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    ABSTRACT: Unilateral cochlear implant (CI) stimulation establishes hearing to children who are deaf but compromises bilateral auditory development if a second implant is not provided within ∼1.5 years. In this study we asked: 1) What are the cortical consequences of missing this early sensitive period once children reach adolescence? 2) What are the effects of unilateral deprivation on the pathways from the opposite ear? Cortical responses were recorded from 64-cephalic electrodes within the first week of bilateral CI activation in 34 adolescents who had over 10 years of unilateral right CI experience and in 16 normal hearing peers. Cortical activation underlying the evoked peaks was localized to areas of the brain using beamformer imaging. The first CI evoked activity which was more strongly lateralized to the contralateral left hemisphere than normal, with abnormal recruitment of the left prefrontal cortex (involved in cognition/attention), left temporo-parietal-occipital junction (multi-modal integration), and right precuneus (visual processing) region. CI stimulation in the opposite deprived ear evoked atypical cortical responses with abnormally large and widespread dipole activity across the cortex. Thus, using a unilateral CI to hear beyond the period of cortical maturation causes lasting asymmetries in the auditory system, requires recruitment of additional cortical areas to support hearing, and does little to protect the unstimulated pathways from effects of auditory deprivation. The persistence of this reorganization into maturity could signal a closing of a sensitive period for promoting auditory development on the deprived side. Hum Brain Mapp, 2015. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    Human Brain Mapping 10/2015; DOI:10.1002/hbm.23019 · 5.97 Impact Factor
    • "thinking that improves their capability of life planning (Blakemore and Choudhury 2006). They are able to generate expectations about role transitions and at what ages those will most likely occur (Crockett and Beal 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Individuals with emotional and behavioral disturbances (EBD) and those attending special schools tend to have poorer adult outcomes than adolescents without EBD and peers from regular schools. Using a four-group comparison (students with or without EBD from special schools and students with or without EBD from regular schools), the present study examined whether German adolescents with EBD and adolescents attending special schools also have lower expectations regarding their transition to adulthood (moving out of parents’ home, finishing postsecondary education, being full-time employed, getting married, and becoming parents) than adolescents without EBD and adolescents attending regular schools. Only small between-group differences were found regarding the expected timing of transitions and the anticipation to not attain transitions at all. Adolescents with EBD reported later expected ages of marrying and adolescents with EBD attending regular schools expressed later ages of being full-time employed. Students from special schools more often anticipated remaining unmarried. The results are discussed with concern to how adolescents’ overoptimistic expectancies can be handled. Also, the instrumentality of confidence of success is considered. Keywords Adolescence . Expectancies . Adulthood transition . Emotional and behavioral disturbances . Special school . Regular school
    European Journal of Psychology of Education 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10212-015-0268-3 · 0.80 Impact Factor
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    • "The neurobiological research on this age group has established that the prefrontal cortex continues to develop throughout adolescence and emerging adulthood, even until the age of 30. Structural changes in the prefrontal cortex (specifically myelination and synaptic pruning) that continue to occur during this period of emerging adulthood (Blakemore & Choudhury, 2006; Lebel & Beaulieu, 2011), contribute to impulse control and planning, decision-making, and the ability to evaluate risks and rewards. They also increase the emerging adult's capacity for executive functioning, social cognition, and perspective taking. "

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