Adolescence: Mind and brain

Adolescence, the period of life between childhood and adulthood, is characterised by profound changes in many aspects of an individual’s life. Recently, research has shown evidence that during adolescence, there are also changes in cognitive abilities (e.g. social cognition), and in their basis in the brain. Potentially, this research has implications for understanding phenomena such as the onset of mental illness during adolescence and early adulthood. 

This module will cover topics including:

  • What is adolescence? Biology and culture
  • Adolescent social cognitive development (e.g. mentalising, face processing) and its basis in the brain
  • Adolescent executive function development (e.g. working memory, metacognition) and its basis in the brain
  • Risk-taking and peer influence
  • Emotional reactivity and emotion regulation
  • Puberty
  • Adolescence as a period of mental health vulnerability.