New Scientist has an excellent cover article on ‘The five ages of the brain’, looking at how the brain changes as we grow and how these transformations are reflected in our lives.
Each gives a concise introduction to some of the latest findings on how the brain differs in each time period, although for a slight counter-point, I would recommend a recent edition of ABC Radio National’s All in the Mind.
The programme takes a sceptical look at the emerging neuroscience of adolescence, largely based on the fact that adolescence as a distinct developmental stage is a relatively recent cultural invention of the Western world.
Psychologist Robert Epstein argues that the differences in the teen brain are relatively minor, and that the stereotype of the ‘teen in turmoil’ is not a biological fact of brain development, but a result of the cultural pressures put upon adolescents.
The NewSci collection and the All In the Mind programme complement each other nicely and tackle some of the current hot issues in developmental neuroscience.