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Nat Neurosci. 2012 Sep;15(9):1184-91. doi: 10.1038/nn.3177. Epub 2012 Aug 28.

Decision-making in the adolescent brain.

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  • 1Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, University College London, London, UK. s.blakemore@ucl.ac.uk

Abstract

Adolescence is characterized by making risky decisions. Early lesion and neuroimaging studies in adults pointed to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and related structures as having a key role in decision-making. More recent studies have fractionated decision-making processes into its various components, including the representation of value, response selection (including inter-temporal choice and cognitive control), associative learning, and affective and social aspects. These different aspects of decision-making have been the focus of investigation in recent studies of the adolescent brain. Evidence points to a dissociation between the relatively slow, linear development of impulse control and response inhibition during adolescence versus the nonlinear development of the reward system, which is often hyper-responsive to rewards in adolescence. This suggests that decision-making in adolescence may be particularly modulated by emotion and social factors, for example, when adolescents are with peers or in other affective ('hot') contexts.

PMID:
22929913
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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