Let's start with the teen's love of the thrill. We all like new and exciting things, but we never value them more highly than we do during adolescence. Here we hit a high in what behavioral scientists call sensation seeking: the hunt for the neural buzz, the jolt of the unusual or unexpected.
Seeking sensation isn't necessarily impulsive. You might plan a sensation-seeking experience—a skydive or a fast drive—quite deliberately, as my son did. Impulsivity generally drops throughout life, starting at about age 10, but this love of the thrill peaks at around age 15. And although sensation seeking can lead to dangerous behaviors, it can also generate positive ones: The urge to meet more people, for instance, can create a wider circle of friends, which generally makes us healthier, happier, safer, and more successful.
The entire article is available now in the October issue of National Geographic magazine. Link
(Image credit: Kitra Cahana)
This article presents such a bias, IMO. Drawing on too simplistic reasoning, like; thicker corpus callosum makes for greater transhemispheric integration. If this was true then women are decidely more transhemispherically integrated than men and should be our masters. The difference in collasal "thickness" between men and women is as drastic as the difference between children and adults. The organizational structure of the brain, especially as regards transhemispheric integration, is far too complicated to be reduced in this manner.
It also presents the assumption that the "normal" brain or the brain that can adapt to our modern society is the height of brain development. When in reality it may be a collective delusion which we are expecting children to see value in. Of course if they have no choice but to see value, then they will, or they will be classified as having abnormal brain-development.