The Adolescent Brain: Learning, Reasoning, and Decision Making

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Christopher J Graver, PhD, ABPP-CN(Madigan Healthcare System)
Description: Although brain development is often lumped into the general periods of childhood and adulthood, there is enough happening during the 18 years that usually define childhood to warrant specific attention to a more discrete period of time late in childhood. This book explores adolescent neurodevelopment and associated functional outcomes.
Purpose: The aim is to provide a review of the science in the area of adolescent neurodevelopment, as well as to illuminate potential research areas rife with opportunity for major breakthroughs.
Audience: This book is intended for cognitive neuroscientists, neuropsychologists, and developmental psychologists. The book assumes familiarity with cognitive neuroscience paradigms and experimental design, as well as neuroanatomy. The authors are scholarly contributors to this area of study.
Features: An overview of developmental neuroanatomy, mostly from the perspective of MRI studies, begins the book. The very clear graphs that illustrate key points are so well done, it might be tempting to skip the text, but the text addresses important aspect of the general variability of neuroanatomic structure in normal development and the profound implications this has for the specificity of neuropathological interpretations. Subsequent sections clearly integrate bench science and functional applications. For example, one chapter describes the development of critical thinking skills and reasoning in the context of cultural and societal phenomena, such as the rapid access to information via the Internet. This is further expanded with a review of the literature on non-neurologic factors that influence brain development and cognitive functioning, such as anxiety, self-efficacy, pressure, and motivation. Intriguing chapters on neuroplasticity provide unique insights into the ongoing changes of the brain throughout adolescence and into adulthood, challenging previous notions of a static development at adulthood maturation levels. The references are current to 2011 and frequently include articles from within the last three years.
Assessment: This is an excellent contribution to the neuroscience literature, addressing a gap in the neurodevelopmental literature in an intriguing and thoughtful manner.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781433810701
  • Publisher: American Psychological Association
  • Publication date: 12/15/2011
  • Pages: 457
  • Sales rank: 1,005,793
  • Product dimensions: 7.10 (w) x 10.20 (h) x 1.20 (d)

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