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.

    • "A recent study by Lang et al.,(2015) found that compared to patients of an older age group, younger individuals with AN displayed the greater difficulties in recognizing emotions through body movements, suggesting that emotion processing may be more difficult for younger age groups with AN. Adolescence is a time of pubertal change, with significant amounts of hormone change and rapid brain development taking place (Blakemore and Choudhury, 2006). It is also a crucial time of social cognitive development, whereby many novel and complex social situations are experienced, aiding the development of social behaviors and abilities such as mentalising. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study aimed to investigate emotion expression in a large group of children, adolescents and adults with Anorexia Nervosa (AN), and investigate the associated clinical correlates. One hundred and forty-one participants (AN=66, HC= 75) were recruited and positive and negative film clips were used to elicit emotion expressions. The Facial Activation Coding system (FACES) was used to code emotion expression. Subjective ratings of emotion were collected. Individuals with AN displayed less positive emotions during the positive film clip compared to healthy controls (HC). There was no significant difference between the groups on the Positive and Negative Affect Scale (PANAS). The AN group displayed emotional incongruence (reporting a different emotion to what would be expected given the stimuli, with limited facial affect to signal the emotion experienced), whereby they reported feeling significantly higher rates of negative emotion during the positive clip. There were no differences in emotion expression between the groups during the negative film clip. Despite this individuals with AN reported feeling significantly higher levels of negative emotions during the negative clip. Diminished positive emotion expression was associated with more severe clinical symptoms, which could suggest that these individuals represent a group with serious social difficulties, which may require specific attention in treatment.
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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.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Human Brain Mapping
    • "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
    No preview · Article · Sep 2015 · European Journal of Psychology of Education
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