One thing that happens in the brain when we're going to get involved in any activity or initiate any activity is, we either have to decide what the consequences of that behavior are, or we're just going to behave impulsively. And to appreciate what the consequences of a behavior are, you have to really think through what the potential outcomes of a behavior are. I think the frontal lobe, that part of the executive region that we studied, is not always functioning fully in teenagers; or least our data suggests that perhaps it's not.That would suggest that therefore teenagers aren't thinking through what the consequences of their behaviors are, which would lead us to believe that they'd be more impulsive, because they're not going to be so worried about whether or not what they're doing has a negative consequence. ...Our findings suggest that what is coming into the brain, how it's being organized, and then ultimately the response -- all three of those may be different in our adolescents. So that attitude may be part of that, or may be related to that. But it's not simply a matter of teenagers feeling like they don't want to do something, or that they're just going to give you a hard time. ...
Itma haag sintef dmo master
Brain maturation and risk behavior among young drivers International Traffic Medicine Association AD Den Haag 26-29 April, 2009 Dagfinn Moe SINTEF
Two girls, 18 years old, are on their way to school ca 0815 am in a Golf 1990 model
Four young people (4) were killed and one (1) seriously injured in a head on accident between a Golf 1990 model and a heavy vehicle
The understanding of driving behavior ” inter- and multidisciplinarity” <ul><li>R&D </li></ul><ul><li>Driver Behavior </li></ul><ul><li>Accident analysis </li></ul><ul><li>Behavioral studies </li></ul><ul><li>Psychological testing </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Interviews </li></ul>R&D Brain and Behavior Neurobiology Maturation- development Learning-memory systems fMRI-neuroimaging
Adolescent brain development can be divided into four processes: (Giedd-2006, Steinberg-2008, Toga-2006) Proliferation Rapid growth of brain matter and the formation of new connections within the brain Pruning Cutting away of unused or unimportant connections Myelination Insulating of brain pathways and connections to make them faster and more stable Remodeling of the dopaminergic system There is a redistribution of dopamine concentration around puberty
Brain maturation 5 – 20 year Gogtay, Giedd, et al. (2004) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA
” CEO” Chief Executive Officer Auditory, vestibular Vision Sensory cortex, Space Association Motor cortex, muscle activation
<ul><li>Learning </li></ul><ul><li>Memory </li></ul><ul><li>Emotion </li></ul>THE LIMBIC SYSTEM
Puberty (oxytocin-friends) Remodelling (dopamin-reward) A social neuoroscience perspective on adolescent risk-taking (L. Steinberg, Temple University, Philadelphia-2008) Cognitive control functions ” prefrontal cortex”
Rate of Maturation adolescent limbic/amygdala prefrontal cortex Galvan et al 2006 Developmental Science
Conclusions about Frontal Lobe Immaturity 1. Poor judgment and difficulty thinking through consequences of behavior 2. Impulsive and emotional responses rather than logical and practical ones 3. Miscommunication with peers and adults—they miss subtle social cues, misinterpret expectations, and misread facial expressions. 4. Increased risk-taking; inappropriate actions not as inhibited as in adults Adolescence is generally a period of increased impulsivity and risk-taking behaviour, but some teens might be especially prone to engage in such behaviours. Galvan et al. (2007 )
I think neuroscience can contribute to a more complete understanding of young drivers behavior Thank you for your attention!