Beyond Simple Models of Self-Control

The adolescent brain is more “plastic” than it will ever be again and capable of remarkable adaptability in light of the many challenges that this developmental phase brings. Yet it is a peak time for accidental injury and death, in part because of diminished self-control – the ability to inhibit inappropriate desires, emotions, and actions in favor of appropriate ones. Findings of adolescent-specific changes in self-control and underlying brain circuitry are considered in terms of how evolutionary based biological constraints and experiences shape the brain to adapt to the unique challenges of adolescence.

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