Understanding the Role of Puberty in Structural and Functional Development of the Adolescent Brain

Anne Lise Goddings*, Adriene Beltz, Jiska S. Peper, Eveline A. Crone, Barbara R. Braams

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalReview articleAcademicpeer-review


Over the past two decades, there has been a tremendous increase in our understanding of structural and functional brain development in adolescence. However, understanding the role of puberty in this process has received much less attention. This review examines this relationship by summarizing recent research studies where the role of puberty was investigated in relation to brain structure, connectivity, and task-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). The studies together suggest that puberty may contribute to adolescent neural reorganization and maturational advancement, and sex differences also emerge in puberty. The current body of work shows some mixed results regarding impact and exact direction of pubertal influence. We discuss several limitations of current studies and propose future directions on how to move the field forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-53
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Research on Adolescence
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


Cite this