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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Jun;1021:1-22.

Adolescent brain development: a period of vulnerabilities and opportunities. Keynote address.

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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, 3811 O'Hara St., Rm. E-724, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA.


This article introduces and summarizes the goals of the symposium. It also provides an overview of a conceptual framework for understanding adolescence, which emphasizes how the very nature of this developmental transition requires an interdisciplinary approach-one that focuses on brain/behavior/social-context interactions during this important maturational period. More specifically it describes a set of neurobehavioral changes that appear to be linked to pubertal development, which appear to have a significant effect on motivation and emotion, and considers these puberty-specific changes in affect in relation to a much larger set of developmental changes in adolescence. This framework is used to argue for the need for a transdisciplinary dialogue that brings together work in several areas of neuroscience (including animal models) and normal development with clinical and social policy research aimed at early intervention and prevention strategies.

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