Throughout this series, I have been describing the unique features of the adolescent brain and how its development is influencing your child’s behavior and decision-making process. Dopamine, a neurotransmitter, is ramped up during adolescence and contributes to the changes that are seen during this important developmental time. Dopamine impacts the brain’s reward and pleasure centers and is associated with competitiveness, aggression and the thrill of risky adventures.
Another part of the brain, the prefrontal cortex, enters a rapid time of development during adolescence. [Read more…]