Risky Business: The Teenage Brain

“Nothing—whether it’s being with your friends, having sex, licking an ice cream cone, zipping along in a convertible on a warm summer evening, hearing your favorite music—will ever feel as good as it did when you were a teenager,” says Laurence Steinberg, a professor of psychology at Temple University. From weak frontal lobes to enlarged nucleus accumbens and extra more dopamine receptors, adolescents’ brains are different from adult ones. In this fascinating New Yorker article, Elizabeth Colbert explains why teenagers are so good at feeling immense pleasure, taking outrageous risks and generally being nightmares—it’s not their fault, it’s their brains.