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Rita Hitching

Researcher & Science Writer

TeenBrain & VA

Teen Brain


Your teenage brain is glorious - if you didn’t know that already. Neuroscience has shown that the brain goes through critical periods of growth and development - while in the womb, the first year of life, and the early years, right into adulthood. What scientists have more recently discovered is that the brain undergoes a 'secret mission' of change during the period between the ages of 12 to 19 years, that is truly unique. Come and learn some #brainhacks to be the Best version of You.

Meet the Speaker:

I’m a researcher, writer, and teacher. My focus is on teenage brain development. I am passionate about helping teens understand themselves and those around them. I use the latest neuroscience research to explain how the teenage body and brain develop. I have been involved in psychology and psychiatry research for over 20 years.

My interest in adolescent neuronal development stems from being a parent of 3 teens, and the unique changes the brain undergoes during the period between 13 and 19. The teen years are a period of great opportunity to support teens towards independent living.

The trajectory of brain changes associated with the maturation of cognitive functions, decision making, memory, attention, impulse control is as individual as a teen is. During this period the brain demonstrates greater connectivity across regions, paired with axonal pruning. It is a period of strong remodelling making adolescents highly vulnerable to disruptions in brain maturation due to external and internal factors, that may make them susceptible to psychiatric issues.

This exciting period keeps me on my toes, and always looking to inform teens on how to harness the power of neuroscience to make good decisions.

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