Colloquium - Goal-directed behavior and the adolescent brain

Leah H. Somerville, Ph.D. Department of Psychology Harvard University

My lab's research aims to reveal how neurodevelopmental shifts in circuit-level brain function contribute to changes in motivated, emotional, and social behavior during adolescence. My talk will feature new work that reveals the ways in which goal-directed behaviors are differentially shaped by cues of value during adolescence, and associations with changes in brain function. Ultimately, the aims of this work are threefold: to bolster fundamental understanding of human neurodevelopment in the second decade of life, to inform relationships between circuit-level brain function and human behavioral outcomes more generally, and to gain insight into mechanisms of health risks that emerge during adolescence.