The impact of brain development on risk-taking behaviour

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  • The impact of brain development on risk-taking behaviour
    • Adolescents have a less developed prefrontal cortex
      • this is believed to cause more risk taking behaviour in younger people.
      • A highly developed prefrontal cortex is responsible for high-level reasoning and decision making.
    • Brains develop from back to front and are not fully developed until mid-20s.
    • Alcohol reduces social discomfort and therefore they may drink repeatedly to regain this confidence.
    • Barkley-Levenson and Galvan (2014) consider that it is not only the prefrontal cortex but also the ventral striatum which can be involved in risk-taking behaviour.
      • The ventral striatum can also lead to impulsive behaviour such as driving to fast.
    • It has been shown that three yr olds continue behaviour into adolescence.
    • Individual differences may also cause risk taking behaviour.
    • Neuro-chemicals and neuro-transmitters also link to risk taking behaviour
      • lack of serotonin in rhesus macaque monkeys can lead to impassivity.
      • More Dopamine is seen in adolescent brains.
        • Chambers (2003) suggests that this in the animal kingdom leads to offspring to leave the home and take risks.
    • People with higher IQs are also seen to take more risks as they are sensation seeking. .
      • Therefore it seems that people who take risks are not necessarily lacking intelligence


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