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date: 22 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter describes research demonstrating that the social brain continues to develop and change during adolescence. The study of the development of the brain beyond childhood is a new but rapidly evolving field with potential applications in education and social policy. The finding that changes in brain structure continue into adolescence and early adulthood has challenged accepted views and has given rise to a recent spate of investigations into the way cognition (including social cognition) might change as a consequence. Research suggests that adolescence is a key time for the development of regions of the brain involved in social cognition and self-awareness. This is likely to be due to the interplay between a number of factors, including changes in the social environment and in hormonal functioning, structural and functional brain development, and improvements in social cognition.

Keywords: social brain, adolescence, brain development, brain structure, social neuroscience

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