Get access

Plasticity during childhood and adolescence: innovative approaches to investigating neurocognitive development


Address for correspondence: Kathrin Cohen Kadosh, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK; e-mail:


Adolescence is a period of profound change, which holds substantial developmental milestones, but also unique challenges to the individual. In this opinion paper, we highlight the potential of combining two recently developed behavioural and neural training techniques (cognitive bias modification and functional magnetic neuroimaging-based neurofeedback) into a research approach that could help make the most of increased levels of plasticity during childhood and adolescence. We discuss how this powerful combination could be used to explore changing brain–behaviour relationships throughout development in the context of emotion processing, a cognitive domain that exhibits continuous development throughout the second decade of life. By targeting both behaviour and brain response, we would also be in an excellent position to define sensible time windows for enhancing plasticity, thereby allowing for targeted intervention approaches that can help improve emotion processing in both typically and atypically developing populations.

Get access to the full text of this article