Research offers clues to how the adolescent brain works
Wall Street Journal
The reward centers of the adolescent brain are much more active than those of either children or adults. What teenagers want most of all are social rewards, especially the respect of their peers. In a recent study by Temple psychologist Laurence Steinberg, teenagers did a simulated high-risk driving task while being monitored by an fMRI. Their brains' reward systems were stimulated much more when they thought another teen was watching — and they took more risks.