Development of the social brain in adolescence and effects of social distancing – Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

November 24, 2020 @ 4:00 pm – 5:00 pm
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link in abstract
Arielle Bennett-Lovell

Adolescence is a period of life characterised by heightened sensitivity to social stimuli, an increased need for peer interaction and peer acceptance, and development of the social brain. Lockdown and social distancing measures intended to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 are reducing the opportunity to engage in face-to-face social interaction with peers. The consequences of social distancing on human social brain and social cognitive development are unknown, but animal research has shown that social deprivation and isolation have unique effects on brain and behaviour in adolescence compared with other stages of life. It is possible that social distancing might have a disproportionate effect on an age group for whom peer interaction is a vital aspect of development.

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