Understanding teenagers with Dr Daniel Emina

Psychologist Dr Daniel Emina talks to Heights about cognitive development.

Dr Daniel Emina has unlocked the mysteries of the adolescent brain. Mood swings, risky decisions, and an explosion of neurons firing: as a double-board certified psychologist, Dr Daniel's studied it all and lived to tell the tale.

Cognitive development in adolescents

On today's Braincare podcast, Dr Emina explains adolescent identity formation, and how the limbic brain causes teenagers to make sub-optimal decisions. Plus, we discover why adolescents are hard-wired to seek out short-term rewards over long-term gains.

You can listen to episode 9 here.

Increased emotional activity speeds the willingness to say "Mum, I'm different from you. When you have that little bit of extra irritability, let me push off from you".

Helping with the development in adolescents

Adolescents are hugely sensitive to societal cues around cognitive bias. So how can we, as adults, help to break down prejudice rather than reinforcing it?

Have that uncomfortable conversation, but make sure you're educating yourself first.

Podcast episode takeaways

In this first episode with Dr Daniel Emina we will cover:

  • Your brain on video games: triggering dopamine on mass

  • Why novel-seeking behaviour can get us into trouble

  • The science behind wanting to stand out from the crowd

  • Dealing with teenage mood swings

  • Societal reinforcement of prejudice

  • How to discuss bias with teenagers

Listen to the full episode here —and subscribe to The Braincare Podcast to get more bitesize interviews with the world's leading scientists and experts.

Want more insights on cognitive bias in children? Check out our previous episode with Dr Daniel Emina on Child Psychology and Unconscious Bias.


Know your own mind?

The average brain health score is 51/100. Take our 3-minute quiz to learn how yours measures up and how to boost it.

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