• Date and time: Wednesday 15 April 2015, 5.00pm to 7.30pm
  • Location: Room ATB/056-057, Alcuin Seebohm Rowntree, Alcuin College
  • Admission: is by free ticket only. Please book below.

Event details

Science Engagement Celebration

  • 5pm – Science Engagement exhibition
  • 6pm – Talk by Sarah-Jayne Blakemore
  • 7pm – drinks reception and second chance to see exhibition

The brain has evolved to understand and interact with other people. This talk focuses on how the social brain, that is the network of brain regions involved in understanding others, develops during adolescence. Adolescence is a time characterised by change - hormonally, physically, psychologically and socially. Social cognitive processes involved in navigating an increasingly complex social world continue to develop throughout human adolescence. In the past 20 years, neuroscience research has shown that the human brain develops both structurally and functionally during adolescence. Areas of the social brain undergo significant reorganisation in terms of structure and function during the second decade of life, which possibly reflects a sensitive period for adapting to the social environment. The changes in social environment that occur during adolescence might interact with increasing executive functions, heightened social sensitivity and the developing social brain to influence a number of adolescent behaviours, including risk-taking, peer influence and self-consciousness. I will discuss the importance of taking into account the social environment and the social brain when considering adolescent-typical behaviour.


Speaker biography:  Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Royal Society University Research Fellow and Professor in Cognitive Neuroscience at UCL. She is Leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group and deputy director of the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. Her group's research focuses on brain development in human adolescence. Professor Blakemore studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and then did her PhD at UCL and a postdoc in Lyon, France. Since 2003 she has held a series of Royal Society Research Fellowships at UCL. Professor Blakemore has published over 100 papers in scientific journals and has won multiple awards for her research. Professor Blakemore has a long-standing interest in the links between neuroscience and education. She worked with the select committee for Education in 2000 and co-authored a book with Dame Professor Uta Frith called The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education. She sat on the Royal Society BrainWaves working group for neuroscience, education and lifelong learning, and the Royal Society Vision Committee for Science and Mathematics Education.

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, Deputy Director, UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
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