home Mind-Boggling Stories The Teen Brain: Under Construction

The Teen Brain: Under Construction

When does a person really become a ‘grown up?’ Surely age can’t be the only determining factor. Laci Green looks at how the brain matures and what it means- from a scientific perspective- to be an adult.

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The Teen Brain: Still Under Construction

“One of the ways that scientists have searched for the causes of mental illness is by studying the development of the brain from birth to adulthood.”

Decision-making in the adolescent brain

“Adolescence is characterized by making risky decisions. Early lesion and neuroimaging studies in adults pointed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and related structures as having a key role in decision-making.”

Brain Maturity Extends Well Beyond Teen Years

“Under most laws, young people are recognized as adults at age 18. But emerging science about brain development suggests that most people don’t reach full maturity until the age 25.”

My Immature Brain Made Me Do It?

“When you take an MRI of a person’s brain, it is easy to distinguish gray and white matter. A wealth of neuroscience data has shown that these two parts of the brain change during development from childhood to adulthood. The density of gray matter appears to decline through adolescence in a process known as pruning. Although not well understood, it is believed that pruning allows the brain to function more efficiently.”

Brain doesn’t mature until 20s, experts say

“Brain researchers are increasingly confirming what auto-insurance actuaries have long known – the powers of decision-making, especially under stress, don’t fully mature in most people until they are in their mid-20s.”

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