Risk-taking & the Teen Brain

A few weeks ago we wrote about brain basics and emotion regulation. This week we'd like to share a few videos that capture some of the differences between a teen brain and an adult brain, and how these differences influence risk-taking behavior and impulsivity. These videos challenge us to think about the evolutionary and developmental reasons why risk-taking is an important adolescent trait that fosters creativity, learning, self-knowledge and more, but also why teenagers need guidance and support to help them engage the parts of their brain that help keep them safe. 

The first video is from Two Guys on Your Head, a locally produced radio program on KUT that features UT professors Dr. Art Markman and Dr. Robert Duke discussing the adolescent brain (Bonus: they laugh a lot and don't take themselves too seriously).

The next video is from Ted Talks and features cognitive neuroscientist Sarah-Jane Blakemore exploring the social brain and how typical teenage behavior is linked to their developing brains, as well as how to structure educational settings to meet teenagers where their brains are!

When we understand how our brains work, and what sets the teenage brain apart, we can understand ourselves in a whole new way and find new, and more effective, ways of engaging with adolescents.