Mature Brains Led to Reckless Teenagers

It's common sense to think that teenage recklessness come from their immaturity - but could the opposite actually be true?

A team led by psychiatrist Gregory Berns of Emory University conducted a study with the paradoxical result - the more mature the teenager's brain, the more reckless they become:

In a paper just published in PLoS ONE — a journal of the Public Library of Science — a team led by psychiatrist Gregory Berns of Emory University in Atlanta shows that adolescents who engage in more dangerous activities have white-matter pathways that appear more mature than those of risk-averse youths. White matter is essentially the brain's wiring — the neural strands that connect the various gray-matter regions, where the actual nerve cells reside, that are otherwise independent of one another. Maturation of white matter is important because it increases the brain's processing speed; nerve impulses travel faster in mature white matter.

Berns and his colleagues recruited 91 kids ages 12 to 18 and asked them to fill out a questionnaire about their tendency to engage in behaviors such as driving without a license, having unprotected sex and using drugs. Then they had the kids undergo a relatively new kind of brain scan called diffusion tensor imaging, a type of magnetic resonance imaging that is used to look at dense tissues like white matter. After analyzing the scans, the authors found a strong correlation between how risky the students described their behavior to be and how sophisticated their white matter was. The more mature the look of the brain, the more risk-taking the teenager tended to report.

John Cloud of Time Magazine has the story: Link

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Neatorama writers sure do love to print this psychiatry and psychology crap. Before I visited this web site this morning I remarked to myself how the writers here print a lot of psych crap. And I realized none of them really have looked in to it, they're just reprinting some lame crap some other guy never investigated.

Doesn't anyone realize that in application all this mumbo jumbo fails to produce any benificial results? If it did, we'd have a lot less social issues and few murders, ;ess crime, smarter kids, better family lives, etc. Instead we have random murder/suicides linked to anti-psychotic drugs, people imprisonned in hospitals and jails because they are labbeled "mentally ill."

But it doesn't and every few years psychiatrists repackage their snake oil and tell us they have figured it all out again...
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"The more mature the look of the brain, the more risk-taking the teenager tended to report."

Now I wish they could relate that to Tetris playing.

Just how risky a situation is seems to be kind of subjective. Maybe the teen with a more mature brain can calculate risks better than a less mature brain, even considering the same age level.

Although they relate brain maturity to thinking speed, that has nothing to do with intelligence.
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Come all Yea People.

... Toke and pass it on (Tchup!).

... Nope (Tccchup!), was dath dah pope onda string?!?

Yea, +1! (But really, it's @ 11).

"Pull dah string"!

"Pull dah string"!

"Pull dah string"!
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12 year old: still programmed by mom and dad ideals, 18 year olds like to try more stuff themselves. And yeah apparently 18 year olds have a more mature brain...
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