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Decision Making, Affect, and LearningAttention and Performance XXIII$
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Mauricio R. Delgado, Elizabeth A. Phelps, and Trevor W. Robbins

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199600434

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600434.001.0001

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Risky and impulsive components of adolescent decision making

Risky and impulsive components of adolescent decision making

Chapter:
(p.425) Chapter 20 Risky and impulsive components of adolescent decision making
Source:
Decision Making, Affect, and Learning
Author(s):

B.J. Casey

Todd A. Hare

Adriana Galván

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199600434.003.0020

Adolescence is a developmental period which is often characterized as a time of impulsive and risky choices leading to increased incidence of unintentional injuries and violence, alcohol and drug abuse, unintended pregnancy, and sexually transmitted diseases. Traditional neurobiological and cognitive explanations for such suboptimal decisions have failed to account for nonlinear changes in behaviour observed during adolescence, relative to childhood and adulthood. This chapter provides a biologically plausible conceptualization of the neural mechanisms underlying these nonlinear changes in behaviour, of a heightened sensitivity to incentives while impulse control is still relatively immature during this period. Recent human imaging and animal studies provide a biological basis for this view, suggesting differential development of limbic reward systems relative to top-down control systems during adolescence, relative to childhood and adulthood. Finally, a mathematical model is provided to further distinguish these constructs of impulsivity and risky choices to further characterize developmental and individual differences in suboptimal decisions during this period.

Keywords:   adolescence, decision making, neural mechanisms, limbic reward systems, control systems, impulsivity, choice

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