The Adolescent Brain: A Work in Progress

This paper summarises scientific research about brain development in adolescence and in particular, emphasises the changes to the prefrontal cortex of the frontal lobes which appear to be especially critical for mature decision making and impulse control. Sections within the paper address changes in the brain during adolescence at the cellular level; describes adolescent brain development from the perspective of new techniques now available for studying living brains; and, in the final section, summarises knowledge about how these brain changes may affect thinking and behaviour.

Daniel R. Weinberger
Brita Elvevåg
Jay N. Giedd
The National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy