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Risk-taking behavior in teens caused by imbalanced brain activity

Adolescents among humans and non-human animals alike are more inclined to engage in heightened risk-taking behavior, exploration and novelty seeking. Although these attributes provide adaptive value in enabling individuals to gain importance in the world, including independence from parents, if taken too far, this tendency could lead to potentially dangerous behavior, including drug use, harmful drinking, addiction, unsafe sex, and risky driving, which may result in unintended injuries, violence and/or even premature death.
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