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Adolescent mental health and development

3:00pm-4:00pm on Saturday 3 April
All day on Sunday 4 April

Times shown are in GMT (UTC +0) up to the 27th March. For events on or after 28th March times are in BST (UTC +1).

Why do teenagers feel and act the way that they do?


Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore and Chris Mann (BBC Radio Cambridgeshire) discuss how the teenage brain changes and how COVID-19 might be impacting adolescent development and mental health.


Adolescence is a period of life often characterised by behaviours that can seem irrational, such as excessive risk-taking and impulsivity. However, these behaviours can be interpreted as adaptive and rational, given that a key developmental goal of this period of life is to mature into an independent adult, while navigating an increasingly complex social world.


In adolescence, peer evaluation and peer influence are heightened, social cognitive processes are developing and areas of the social brain undergo reorganisation. As such, adolescence might reflect a sensitive period of social brain development, which is important for adapting to the social environment.


Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge, UK, and leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her group's research focuses on the development of social cognition and decision making in the human adolescent brain, and adolescent mental health.


Professor Blakemore is Chair of the Royal Society of Biology Education and Science Policy Committee. Professor Blakemore has been awarded multiple awards for her research including the Young Mind & Brain Prize 2013, the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award 2013, the Klaus J Jacobs Prize 2015 and the British Psychological Society Presidents' Award 2018. She is a Fellow of the British Academy, the Royal Society of Biology and the American Association of Psychological Science.


Professor Blakemore‘s recent book, Inventing Ourselves: the secret life of the teenage brain, was awarded the Royal Society Book Prize 2018 and the British Psychological Society Book Prize 2020 and was voted Hay Festival Book of the Year 2018.


This event is organised in partnership with Cambridge Neuroscience Interdisciplinary Research Centre. Find out more about this research on social media @sjblakemore and @CamNeuro on Twitter or through our website:

Booking/Registration is: RECOMMENDED

This event will premiere on the University's YouTube channel.

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Additional Information

Age: Young Adults 12 – 18, Adults
Timing: Live Stream, Available on Demand
Cost: free
Event Capacity: unlimited
Theme: Society, Health
Accessibility: Closed Captions

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