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Teenagers' brains process risk differently when mum is around

10 January 2017

Teenagers take more risks than any other age group, but this is not necessarily the case when an adult is around.

A new study in Developmental Science has explored the reasons for the risk-taking nature of teenagers, discovering that it is not only down to the immaturity of the teen brain but also has a significant social element.

Joao Moreira and his colleagues found that, when an adult is around, teens are less prone to taking risky decisions and their brains show less reward-related activity after taking a risk in these conditions.

The research also noted that, at a neural level, there were statistically significant differences when the adult present was the participant's mother, with more reward-related activity taking place following a safe decision.

Read more on our Research Digest blog.

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