The Valley of the Teenagers: My new brain column for Discover

When you’re a teenager, it seems like nobody understands you. And once you’re finished being a teenager and get to observe them as an adult, you have to wonder what on Earth is going through their heads. In my new column for Discover, I gingerly step into the teenage mind, exploring what neuroscientists are learning about how their brains work. Teenagers may do things that seem crazy and/or stupid, but that doesn’t mean they themselves are crazy or stupid. The teen years turn out to be a unique phase of mental life, when we tally up the rewards and costs of our choices with a kind of math that you won’t find in the heads of children or grownups. Check it out.

3 thoughts on “The Valley of the Teenagers: My new brain column for Discover

  1. I have been interested in this research ever since I noticed my own behaviors changing once I hit that 24-25 year mark, and realizing that I did some astonishingly poor decision making when I was younger. These days I still marvel at my ability to delay gratification and prioritize, when my inner 18-year-old says “WANT” and my adult self analyzes the impulse until it pouts, goes to its room and yells “you never let me do ANYTHING!”

    I’ve always thought that this cognitive gap coinciding with the onset of fertility was no accident, either. Thankfully I dodged that particular bullet ;-P

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