Cover image for Inventing ourselves : the secret life of the teenage brain / Sarah-Jaybe Blakemore.
Inventing ourselves : the secret life of the teenage brain / Sarah-Jaybe Blakemore.
First US edition.
Publication Information:
New York : PublicAffairs, 2018.

Physical Description:
240 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Describes the transformations that take place in the human brain during adolescence, especially in the prefrontal cortex, which governs decision-making, planning, inhibiting inappropriate behavior, evaluating risk, and understanding others.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
612.64018 BLA Book Adult General Collection

On Order



A tour through the groundbreaking science behind the enigmatic, but crucial, brain developments of adolescence and how those translate into teenage behavior
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 from childhood on. 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. Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, one of the world's leading researchers into adolescent neurology, explains precisely what is going on in the complex and fascinating brains of teenagers--namely that the brain goes on developing and changing right through adolescence--with profound implications for the adults these young people will become.
Drawing from cutting-edge research, including her own, Blakemore shows: How an adolescent brain differs from those of children and adults Why problem-free kids can turn into challenging teens What drives the excessive risk-taking and all-consuming relationships common among teenagers And why many mental illnesses--depression, addiction, schizophrenia--present during these formative years Blakemore's discoveries have transformed our understanding of the teenage mind, with consequences for law, education policy and practice, and, most of all, parents.

Author Notes

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore is a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London. She has published over 120 papers in scientific journals, and won multiple major awards for her research, including the BPS Spearman Medal 2006, the Turin Young Mind & Brain Prize 2013, the Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award 2013, and the Klaus J. Jacobs Research Prize 2015. She was named in the Times Young Female Power List 2014 and was one of only four scientists on the Sunday Times 100 Makers of the 21st Century 2014.

Table of Contents

1 Adolescence isn't an aberrationp. 1
2 A sense of selfp. 19
3 Fitting inp. 31
4 Inside the skullp. 51
5 Inside the living brainp. 69
6 The ever-plastic brainp. 79
7 Social mind, social brainp. 97
8 Understanding other peoplep. 119
9 The right sort of risksp. 133
10 When things go wrongp. 157
11 Educating the brainp. 177
12 It's the journey that mattersp. 193
Notesp. 203
Acknowledgementsp. 225
Illustration sourcesp. 229
Indexp. 233