Adolescent Brain Development…

An article by Jacques Dayan et al. in the Journal of Physiology states that despite the empirical evidence that teens and adolescents are more prone to engage in real-world risky behavior (driving recklessly, illicit drug use, unprotected sexual intercourse, etc.) their reasoning abilities and comprehension skills are equivalent with their elders. However, functional and structural neuroimaging studies indicate that their brains are still undergoing reorganization of areas that deal with executive function and decision-making. What is to account for this discrepancy between brain development, cognitive processing, and behavior?

Reyna and Farley also study risk-taking behavior in Teens and agree with the above authors that Teens can and do carefully weigh risks and benefits associated with a particular action – they just come down on the side of benefits and justify their risky behavior. Are they acting too logically?

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