UCL Psychology and Language Sciences

Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Prof Sarah-Jayne Blakemore

Honorary Professor

Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience

Div of Psychology & Lang Sciences

Joined UCL
1st Jan 2004

Research summary

Professor Sarah-Jayne Blakemore FBA is Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience at Cambridge and Honorary Professor at UCL. She is leader of the Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience Group. Her group's research focuses on the development of social cognition, peer influence and decision making in the adolescent brain, and adolescent mental health.

Lab website: https://sites.google.com/site/blakemorelab/

Teaching summary


University College London
Doctorate, Doctor of Philosophy | 2000
University of Oxford
First Degree, Bachelor of Arts (Honours) | 1996


Professor Blakemore studied Experimental Psychology at Oxford University (1993-1996) and then did her PhD (1996-2000) at the UCL Functional Imaging Lab under the supervision of Professors Chris Frith and Daniel Wolpert, investigating the self-monitoring in schizophrenia. She then took up a Wellcome Trust International Research Fellowship (2001-2003) to work in Lyon, France, in the area of social neuroscience. This was followed by a Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Fellowship (2004-2007) and a Royal Society University Research Fellowship (2007-2016) at the UCL Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience. 

Professor Blakemore has been awarded a number of prizes for her research including the George Humphrey Prize for the Highest First in Finals, Oxford University, 1996, British Psychological Society Award for Outstanding Doctoral Research Contributions to Psychology 2001, British Psychological Society Spearman Medal for early career research 2006, The Society for Educational Studies Book Prize 2006 for The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education, Women in Science, Technology and Engineering Heirloom prize 2011, Distinguished Lecturer in Neuropsychology Award 2011 from the Swedish Neuropsychological Society, The Turin Young Mind & Brain Prize 2013 and The Royal Society Rosalind Franklin Award 2013. Professor Blakemore was elected a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, 2014. She was awarded the Klaus J Jacobs Prize 2015 and the British Psychological Society Presidents' Award 2018 and was elected a Fellow of the British Academy in 2018.

Professor Blakemore is actively involved in Public Engagement with Science: she frequently gives public lectures and talks at schools, has worked with the Select Committee for Education, and acted as scientific consultant on the BBC series The Human Mind in 2003. She gave a TED talk at TEDGlobal, Edinburgh, 2012. She was one of 80 young people featured in The Observer 'Who to watch' (2004), one of '40 under 40' academics highlighted in UCL magazine (2006), named in The Sunday Times 100 Makers of the 21st Century (2014), one of 30 under 45 in The Times Young Female Power List (2014), and one of 10 young academics highlighted by the Times Higher Education Supplement (2008). 

Professor Blakemore has an interest in the links between neuroscience and education. She sat on the Royal Society BrainWaves working group for neuroscience, education and lifelong learning and the Royal Society Vision Committee for Maths and Science Education. In 2015, she was interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific. She worked with the Islington Community Theatre on their play, Brainstorm, written and performed by teenagers, which had two runs at the National Theatre in London, to national acclaim.  Her first book, 'The Learning Brain: Lessons for Education,' was co-authored with Professor Uta Frith and published by Blackwell in 2005, and her second book, 'Inventing Ourselves: the secret life of the teenage brain,' was published by Doubleday in March 2018 and was awarded the Royal Society Science Book Prize 2018.

Professor Blakemore is Deputy Director of the Wellcome Trust Four Year PhD Programme in Neuroscience at UCL and Chair of the Royal Society of Biology Education and Science Policy Committee.