The Teen Brain

In the course I’m teaching this semester, we’ve been talking about vulnerability. Impossible to have that discussion and not talk about teens. The following webcast is an interesting panel discussion sponsored by The Dana Foundation and Syracuse University. Entitled The Teen Brain, it’s part of their Speaking of Science Series.

Part of what I really liked about this discussion is the examination of teen risk-taking:

On the other hand, this same society and many other societies around the world tend to discourage and devalue the risks that are taken by adolescents. And the reason is most of the risk that we seem to be caring about in that age group tend to have short-term immediate gains for the individuals or the groups that are involved, with longer term consequences that may be not particularly positive that any of us can see very well, and actually may even be tragic. So this is the kind of thing that’s set up, that we encourage risk-taking in adults as long as we value the possible consequences of winning, if you will, but we don’t value risk-taking in adolescence.”

You can also read the transcipts of the webcast here.