Teens undergo fast brain makeover

March 24, 2006

U.S. researchers say a teen's brain undergoes a previously unsuspected biological makeover not complete until they're 25, and that could explain a few things.

Researchers at Temple University in Philadelphia say the findings may help explain why teens are more prone to crash a car and why they are more likely to engage in risky sex, drug abuse or delinquency, the Chicago Tribune reported Friday.

"The reason that kids take chances when they drive is not because they're ignorant," said Temple University psychologist Laurence Steinberg. "It's because other things undermine their better judgment."

Researchers had earlier found that a baby's early exposure to the outside world enables the brain to have a synaptic growth spurt. Synapses are the body's connectors that allow, for example, the brain to tell a hand to move.

The Temple University researchers, who used imaging technology to look inside the brain, say teens have a similar brain synaptic growth spurt -- synapses that are not incorporated into neural networks for memory, decision-making and emotional control are eliminated to make way for a leaner, more efficient brain in adulthood.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

Related Stories

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

Higher-math skills entwined with lower-order magnitude sense

October 30, 2012

The ability to learn complex, symbolic math is a uniquely human trait, but it is intricately connected to a primitive sense of magnitude that is shared by many animals, finds a study to be published by the Proceedings of ...

Primitive-plant uber-geek's heart belongs to lycopods

September 5, 2012

(Phys.org)—When Jeff Benca moved to Berkeley last month, he came so loaded with valuables he had to rent a truck. Make that a cargo van, air-conditioned to accommodate its contents—thousands of plant starts, many of them ...

Recommended for you

Horn of Africa drying ever faster as climate warms

October 9, 2015

The Horn of Africa has become increasingly arid in sync with the global and regional warming of the last century and at a rate unprecedented in the last 2,000 years, according to new research led by a University of Arizona ...

What are white holes?

October 9, 2015

Black holes are created when stars die catastrophically in a supernova. So what in the universe is a white hole?

How to prepare for Mars? NASA consults Navy sub force

October 5, 2015

As NASA contemplates a manned voyage to Mars and the effects missions deeper into space could have on astronauts, it's tapping research from another outfit with experience sending people to the deep: the U.S. Navy submarine ...

Could 'The Day After Tomorrow' happen?

October 9, 2015

A researcher from the University of Southampton has produced a scientific study of the climate scenario featured in the disaster movie 'The Day After Tomorrow'.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.