Brain Plasticity during Adolescence: Effects of Stress, Sleep, Sex and Sounds on Decision Making
- *Corresponding Author:
- Jagmeet S. Kanwal
Georgetown University, Department of Neurology
3900 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington DC, 20057-1460, USA
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: December 07, 2015 Accepted date: December 09, 2015 Published date: December 14, 2015
Citation: Kanwal JS, Jung YJ and Zhang M (2015) Brain Plasticity during Adolescence: Effects of Stress, Sleep, Sex and Sounds on Decision Making. Anat Physiol 6:e135. doi:10.4172/2161-0940.1000e135
Copyright: © 2015 Kanwal JS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Adolescence represents a critical time window of neural plasticity when different regions of the brain are still maturing. This phase of life is associated with risk taking and impulsivity and these behavioral outcomes are expected to be adaptive. Personality traits, stress, sleep deprivation as well as a person’s sex influence adolescent risk taking, behavior. The effects of these factors range from the anatomical to the molecular levels. Risk taking behavior is controlled by extensive interactions between the prefrontal cortex the limbic system and the dopamine signaling system. In adolescent brains, limbic regions mature at a faster rate than the impulse-managing prefrontal regions. As a result, the neurological transformation from childhood to adulthood can create an imbalance in the neural circuitry controlling decision making and especially risk taking behaviors. Here we discuss the neural basis of risk taking in adolescents at the anatomical, physiological and molecular levels and examine how stress and other factors influence the neurodevelopmental process. We postulate that musical sounds processed by some of the same brain regions involved in decision making can impact the developing neural circuits and physiological status of an individual.