Teens undergo fast brain makeover

Mar 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: China's reform of R&D budget management doesn't go far enough, research shows

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Higher-math skills entwined with lower-order magnitude sense

Oct 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

Sep 05, 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 ...

Class of 2012: Europe's young pursue dreams abroad

Aug 01, 2012

(AP) — Santiago Oviedo, a lanky 24-year-old from Madrid, is on track to get his master's in physics in October — a crucial milestone in his dream of becoming a researcher probing the origins of the ...

Recommended for you

Precarious work schedules common among younger workers

Aug 29, 2014

One wish many workers may have this Labor Day is for more control and predictability of their work schedules. A new report finds that unpredictability is widespread in many workers' schedules—one reason ...

User comments : 0