This study examined the role of brain regions involved in academic self-evaluation in relation to problems with study orientation. For this purpose, 48 participants between ages 14–20 years evaluated themselves on academic traits sentences in an fMRI session. In addition, participants completed an orientation to study choice questionnaire, evaluated the importance of academic traits, and completed a reading and shortened IQ test as an index of cognitive performance. Behavioral results showed that academic self-evaluations were a more important predictor for problems with study orientation compared to subjective academic importance or academic performance. On a neural level, we found that individual differences in the positivity of academic self-evaluations were reflected in increased precuneus activity. Moreover, precuneus activity mediated the relation between academic self positivity and problems with study orientation. Together, these findings support the importance of studying academic self-concept and its neural correlates in the educational decision-making process.

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Keywords Academic self-concept, Adolescence, Future orientation, Motivation, fMRI, Precuneus
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Journal Trends in neuroscience and education
van der Aar, L.P.E., Peters, S.T, van der Cruijsen, R., & Crone, E.A. (2019). The neural correlates of academic self-concept in adolescence and the relation to makeing future-oriented academic choices. Trends in neuroscience and education, 15, 10–17. doi:10.1016/j.tine.2019.02.003