Free Talk - Understanding teenagers: the adolescent brain

Teenage brain expert to give free talk to north London parents

One of the country’s leading neuroscientists will give a free talk to north London parents next month (2 March).

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore, a Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, will explain to parents the scientific reasons behind adolescent-typical behaviours and how both parenting and teaching can adapt to them. 

The free event, hosted by North Bridge House Senior and Sixth Form, will also give parents the opportunity to hear how changes in the teenage brain can have an impact on academic performance too. 

Professor Blakemore challenges the view that brain development is over by early childhood.

She believes that areas of the social brain - the network of brain regions involved in understanding others - undergo substantial reorganization in adolescence.  

“Adolescence is a period of life where the brain is particularly adaptable and malleable”, claims Blakemore. “It is a fantastic opportunity for learning and creativity.” 

“What is sometimes seen as the problem with adolescents – hyper risk-taking, poor impulse control, self-consciousness – shouldn’t be stigmatized”, says the Royal Society Research Fellow. “It actually reflects changes in the brain that provide an excellent opportunity for education and social development.”

Professor Blakemore hopes schools will start applying more evidence-based science in education. 

if teaching is about shaping children’s brains, then neuroscience is completely central to education.
— Professor Blakemore

Blakemore also believes that teenagers should be allowed to stay in bed for longer and start their school day later. Starting school at 8.30 or 9am “is the middle of the night for a teenager,” she says.   Similar views were echoed last year at a talk North Bridge House hosted for Dr Paul Kelley, the sleep expert at the University of Oxford.

“Professor Blakemore’s research on the teenage brain has important implications for adolescent education”, adds Jonathan Taylor, head teacher at North Bridge House Senior School and Sixth Form Canonbury. 

We are always keen to learn how to better motivate our teenage students and maximise their full potential.
— Jonathan Taylor, head teacher at North Bridge House Senior School and Sixth Form Canonbury.


Event Details

‘Understanding teenagers: the adolescent brain’

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

6:30 till 7:45pm

North Bridge House, 6-9 Canonbury Place, London N1 2NQ


Tickets are free but registration is required: Book at


For more event information, please contact