Teens can keep their cool to win rewards

Unexpected experimental result suggests young people’s brains can be tamed

By Laura Sanders, 14:24 PM October 15, 2012

The oft-maligned teenage brain is getting some reputation rehab. When offered the incentive of a modest reward in a recent experiment, teens took more time than adults to make a thoughtful, reasoned decision.

That surprising result, presented October 14 at the annual meeting for the Society for Neuroscience, counters the image of a flaky, impulsive adolescent brain, and shows that incentives may be a powerful way to curb reckless behavior. 

“Teenagers are quite capable of waiting, as opposed to...

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