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Why teenagers make risky decisions

Updated November 11, 2022 at 10:17 AM ET

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Life Stages Of The Brain

Teenagers often make risky choices that appear absurd in the eyes of their parents. But neuroscientist Adriana Galván says these decisions are critical for adolescent brain development.

About Adriana Galván

Adriana Galván is a Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she serves as the Jeffrey Wenzel Term Chair in Behavioral Neuroscience.

Her work focuses on brain development — how cognitive and social behaviors change from childhood to adulthood. Through her research on the teenage brain, she seeks to inform youth-related policies such as juvenile justice.

Galván also serves as Dean of Undergraduate Education at UCLA. She completed her B.A. in Neuroscience and Behavior at Barnard College, Columbia University and her Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Cornell University.

This segment of TED Radio Hour was produced by James Delahoussaye and edited by Sanaz Meshkinpour. You can follow us on Twitter @TEDRadioHour and email us at TEDRadio@npr.org.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Manoush Zomorodi
Manoush Zomorodi is the host of TED Radio Hour. She is a journalist, podcaster and media entrepreneur, and her work reflects her passion for investigating how technology and business are transforming humanity.
James Delahoussaye
Sanaz Meshkinpour