What's Wrong with the Teenage Brain?

Science asks and answers the question in every parent's mind, why are teenagers reckless? It's due to how the teen brain interprets risks and rewards:

Recent studies in the neuroscientist B.J. Casey's lab at Cornell University suggest that adolescents aren't reckless because they underestimate risks, but because they overestimate rewards—or, rather, find rewards more rewarding than adults do. The reward centers of the adolescent brain are much more active than those of either children or adults. Think about the incomparable intensity of first love, the never-to-be-recaptured glory of the high-school basketball championship.

What teenagers want most of all are social rewards, especially the respect of their peers. In a recent study by the developmental psychologist Laurence Steinberg at Temple University, teenagers did a simulated high-risk driving task while they were lying in an fMRI brain-imaging machine. The reward system of their brains lighted up much more when they thought another teenager was watching what they did—and they took more risks.

Link (Image: Harry Campbell)


Newest 2
Newest 2 Comments

I could be wrong, but I think dopamine is part of the neurotrophin cascade. So the heightened reward might be complimentary of adolescent synaptogenesis.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.





Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Tech Fails - Twaggies by Twaggies
Email This Post to a Friend
"What's Wrong with the Teenage Brain?"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window