All Posts Tagged With: "teenage brain"
How your still-developing brain puts you at risk
From the 21st Maclean’s University Rankings—on sale now.
Heading off to university is a time-worn rite of passage, one that marks the transition from teen years to adulthood. Despite the new relationships, responsibilities and independence that come with leaving home, however, in our late teens and early twenties, we’re still not fully mature. Our brains keep developing well into these years.
When puberty hits, brain regions responsible for reward and pleasure kick into high gear, according to Temple University psychology professor Laurence Steinberg, author of You and Your Adolescent. But other regions, involved in decision-making and impulse control, are slower to develop—and don’t mature until our mid-twenties. “The accelerator is activated before there’s a good braking system in place,” he says. Teens in mid-to-late adolescence are prone to risky decisions, seeking rewards without weighing the consequences. Starting a new life on campus, these brain changes affect students’ lives in all sorts of ways—maybe pushing them to stay out drinking all night, sign up for a semester abroad in Europe, sleep right through class, or ask their crush out on a date.