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What Is the Difference Between Teen and Adult Brains?

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Published on Nov 7, 2018

Teens are often characterized as angsty, impulsive, socially inept citizens without fully formed brains, straddling the worlds of being a child and an adult but how much of that is true?

How Does Having Too Much Power Affect Your Brain? https://youtu.be/GHZ7-kq3GDQ

Read More:
The age of adolescence
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/la...
“Adolescence encompasses elements of biological growth and major social role transitions, both of which have changed in the past century. Earlier puberty has accelerated the onset of adolescence in nearly all populations, while understanding of continued growth has lifted its endpoint age well into the 20s. In parallel, delayed timing of role transitions, including completion of education, marriage, and parenthood, continue to shift popular perceptions of when adulthood begins. Arguably, the transition period from childhood to adulthood now occupies a greater portion of the life course than ever before at a time when unprecedented social forces, including marketing and digital media, are affecting health and wellbeing across these years.”

Brain Maturity Extends Well Beyond Teen Years
https://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...
“And the other part of the brain that is different in adolescence is that the brain's reward system becomes highly active right around the time of puberty and then gradually goes back to an adult level, which it reaches around age 25 and that makes adolescents and young adults more interested in entering uncertain situations to seek out and try to find whether there might be a possibility of gaining something from those situations.”

Adolescent Risk Taking, Impulsivity, and Brain Development: Implications for Prevention
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...
“One form of impulsivity, sensation seeking, rises dramatically during adolescence and increases risks to healthy development. However, a review of the evidence for the hypothesis that limitations in brain development during adolescence restrict the ability to control impulsivity suggests that any such limitations are subtle at best. Instead, it is argued that lack of experience with novel adult behavior poses a much greater risk to adolescents than structural deficits in brain maturation.”

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Special thanks to Mamoudou N’Diaye for hosting and writing this episode of Seeker!

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