We often joke that teenagers don’t have brains. For some reason, it’s socially acceptable to mock people in this stage of their lives. The need for intense friendships, the excessive risk taking and the development of many mental illnesses – depression, addiction, schizophrenia – begin during these formative years, so what makes the adolescent brain different?
Sarah-Jayne Blakemore speaks about her book Inventing Ourselves: The Secret Life of the Teenage Brain, winner of the Royal Society’s Insight Investment Science Book Prize about her ground-breaking research into the adolescent brain. Professor Blakemore explores 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.