sciencehabit writes: Why do teens—especially adolescent males—commit more crimes more frequently than adults? One explanation may be that as a group, teenagers react more impulsively to threatening situations than do children or adults, likely because their brains have to work harder to reign in their behavior, a research team reports. In lab tests, those adolescents who did manage to restrain themselves showed significantly higher activity in a brain region called the ventromedial prefrontal cortex, which is involved in top-down control of behavior. "You could think of it as the break," says one of the scientists. "It's as if the teenage brain might need to work a little harder to hold that response back." This could help explain why teenage criminals are less likely to be repeat offenders, the researchers say—as their brains develop into adulthood, it gets easier for them to reign in their behavior.
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