Teens’ Penchant For Risk-Taking May Help Them Learn Faster

The teenage brain has been characterized as a risk-taking machine, looking for quick rewards and thrills instead of acting responsibly. But these behaviors could actually make teens better than adults at certain kinds of learning.

“In neuroscience, we tend to think that if healthy brains act in a certain way, there should be a reason for it,” says Juliet Davidow, a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University in the Affective Neuroscience and Development Lab and the lead author of the study, which was published Wednesday in the journal Neuron.

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