Inventing Ourselves: 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.
"Beautifully written with clarity, expertise and honesty about the most important subject for all of us. I couldn't put it down." -- Robert Winston "Finally, a book about the adolescent brain written by someone who actually does the science! In this highly readable, ground-breaking book Blakemore takes us not only into the minds of teenagers, but into the minds of the people who study them. It's a must-read for anyone interested in how adolescents think, and for everyone concerned about how to apply this knowledge to policy and practice." -- Laurence Steinberg, Distinguished University Professor of Psychology, Temple University, and author of Age of Opportunity: Lessons From the New Science of Adolescence "A very readable book bringing together the up-to-date research about how the adolescent brain develops. This matters to both adolescents and parents but also should be read by everyone who looks after adolescents, be they teachers, doctors or psychologists." -- Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health "Inventing Ourselves is a gripping celebration of the teenage brain. Essential reading for parents, teachers and teens. Sane, wise, myth busting, this book is a triumph and should be read by every parent and teacher but they should be warned. They'll have to fight their teenagers to get this gripping book out of their hands." -- Dr Vivienne Parry OBE "The teenage brain is different, but in what way? This beautifully written book tells just how it influences and is influenced by the new challenging demands of a transformational phase of life. There is no sensationalism here. Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a pioneer in the field and provides a meticulous account of what we know." -- Professors Uta & Chris Frith