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Adolescence as a Sensitive Period of Brain Development

Fuhrmann, D; Knoll, LJ; Blakemore, SJ; (2015) Adolescence as a Sensitive Period of Brain Development. Trends in Cognitive Sciences , 19 (10) pp. 558-566. 10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.008. Green open access

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Abstract

Most research on sensitive periods has focussed on early sensory, motor, and language development, but it has recently been suggested that adolescence might represent a second ‘window of opportunity’ in brain development. Here, we explore three candidate areas of development that are proposed to undergo sensitive periods in adolescence: memory, the effects of social stress, and drug use. We describe rodent studies, neuroimaging, and large-scale behavioural studies in humans that have yielded data that are consistent with heightened neuroplasticity in adolescence. Critically however, concrete evidence for sensitive periods in adolescence is mostly lacking. To provide conclusive evidence, experimental studies are needed that directly manipulate environmental input and compare effects in child, adolescent, and adult groups.

Type: Article
Title: Adolescence as a Sensitive Period of Brain Development
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.008
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.tics.2015.07.008
Language: English
Additional information: After an initial embargo period, this article is made available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Non-derivative 4.0 International license (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0). This license allows you to share, copy, distribute and transmit the work for personal and non-commercial use providing author and publisher attribution is clearly stated. Further details about CC BY licenses are available at http://creativecommons.org/ licenses/by/4.0 Authors of Cell Press articles retain many rights to share and/or reuse their work. For a full overview of these rights, see http://www.elsevier.com/copyright and http://www.elsevier.com/about/company-information/policies/sharing.
Keywords: sensitive period, adolescence, neuroplasticity, mental health, stress, training
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1471703
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