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Developing Minds

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Higher-Order Thinking Sparks Innovation

Emerging brain health studies suggest training adolescents in higher-order critical thinking serves as a catalyst to frontal lobe development, laying a foundation of actionable steps to achieving adult-level reasoning, complex abstraction, judgment, problem-solving skills and in turn the ability to innovate.

Innovation is an element of cognition (complex thinking) that measures your ability to expand your thinking beyond single solutions toward seeking a multitude of possible ideas, pathways, perspectives, opportunities, and options. It increases nimble, flexible thinking and is a major brain potentiator to increase neural efficiency.

Featured Research

Student Potential Is Infinite

Students equipped with strong executive function are better prepared to make thoughtful, informed decisions and to fuel economic growth through college and career readiness.

Jacque Gamino, PhD

Director, Adolescent Reasoning Initiative

Related Program

A female teacher is helping a young female student with a tablet while another young female student touches her tablet.

Adolescent Reasoning Initiative

Using science-based practices that teach students how to learn, not what to learn, this program enables middle school through ninth grade teachers to take advantage of this important brain development stage and optimize student learning for success in the classroom and beyond.


Researcher Spotlight

Jacque Gamino in front of green lights, vertical. Director of Adolescent Reasoning Initiative, Assistant Research Professor

Jacquelyn Gamino, PhD

Director of Adolescent Reasoning Initiative Assistant Research Professor

Lori Cook in a blue blouse with blue lights, vertical. Director of Clinical Research, BrainHealth Research; Head of Research, The BrainHealth Project; Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Lori Cook, PhD, CCC-SLP

Director of Clinical Research Head of Research, The BrainHealth Project Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences