Human brain development takes about 25 years

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A note for Lesson no. 3, "Little Brains Wire Themselves to Their World," in Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain by Lisa Feldman Barrett.
Some context from page 47‌ is:

...little human brains are born under construction. They don’t take on their full adult structure and function until they finish their principal wiring, a process that takes about twenty-five years.

There are now many published papers on trajectories of human brain development. Of the many relevant papers, here are several that describe the observation that the human brain takes about 25 years to take on an adult-like form.[1][2][3][4][5]


  1. Casey, Betty Jo, Sarah Getz, and Adriana Galvan. 2008. "The Adolescent Brain." Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1124: 111–126.
  2. Casey, B. J., Adriana Galvan, and Todd A. Hare. 2005. "Changes in Cerebral Functional Organization During Cognitive Development." Current Opinion in Neurobiology 15 (2): 239–244.
  3. Foulkes, Lucy, and Sarah-Jayne Blakemore. 2018. "Studying Individual Differences in Human Adolescent Brain Development." Nature Neuroscience 21 (3): 315–323.
  4. Gogtay, Nitin, Jay N. Giedd, Leslie Lusk, Kiralee M. Hayashi, Deanna Greenstein, A. Catherine Vaituzis, Tom F. Nugent et al. 2004. "Dynamic Mapping of Human Cortical Development During Childhood Through Early Adulthood." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 101 (21): 8174–8179.
  5. Hochberg, Ze′ev, and Melvin Konner. 2020. "Emerging Adulthood, a Pre-adult Life-History Stage." Frontiers in Endocrinology 10: 918.