1/17/19 - “Adolescent Neurocognitive Maturation: Vulnerabilities and Opportunities”

Beatrix Luna, PhD
Staunton Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Professor of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh
Faculty, Center for the Neural Basis of Cognition 
President, Flux Society of Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 
Editor in Chief, Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience 
Laboratory of Neurocognitive Development 
UPMC Western Psychiatric Hospital

Brief Summary of Lecture: Adolescence is a time when newly available brain and cognitive processes specialize determining adult trajectories. Findings from multimodal neuroimaging approaches will be presented demonstrating that prefrontal executive function is available in adolescence while limbic reward and emotion processing predominate with subsequent attenuation into adulthood. Together, these findings inform a model of adolescence where planned behavior is driven by motivation supporting specialization needed to establish adult modes of operation providing a period of unique plasticity. As such, this is a period of vulnerabilities for impaired development, such as in mental disorders, but also a period of opportunity to correct trajectories informing intervention.

Date & Time: Thursday, January 17, 8-9 a.m.


  • John G. Rangos Sr. Research Center

    Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC
    4401 Penn Avenue
    Floor 3 Conference Center
    Pittsburgh, PA 15224