When is your brain an "adult" brain?

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When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby Braininvat on December 22nd, 2016, 12:50 pm 

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/21/science/youre-an-adult-your-brain-not-so-much.html

And here's the article in "Neuron" this was based on:

http://www.cell.com/neuron/pdf/S0896-6273(16)30809-1.pdf


This helps to underscore how difficult it is to base any social/legal policy on the idea that one can pinpoint a precise point of maturation of the human brain.

It's a little easier for insurance actuaries. They don't get into cognition, just accident rates. For a car insurance actuary, you may be called an adult at 18, but your driving isn't there until you're 25.
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 22nd, 2016, 4:42 pm 

Hi Biv,

I prefer Puberty to be the Demarcation. I've known adults with no sense of responsibility and children with an abundance of such. If we think a 14 year old can't be a thriving adult, it's Societies and Educations fault.. not biology.

It's irrational that Linda Blair wasn't old enough to watch the movie she starred in.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby wolfhnd on December 22nd, 2016, 6:12 pm 

Is being practical irrational? There are age related arbitrary lines for such a wide variety of laws that testing for competence would place a burden on administrative agencies that are already bloated in terms of the benefits they provide. For example how much would it cost to base social security on the age at which you as an individual could no longer be considered competent to contribute to society by having a paycheck. The idea that you must be a Nazi if you want to have an efficient government needs to be discouraged.

The existing system is already more flexible than many people believe making allowances for the difference in individual circumstances. Age restrictions on driving in many states can be waved if a child can be shown to have a clear need to operate a motor vehicle. Children in some cases can go to adult movies if accompanied by an adult. You can choose the age at which you draw social security. Laws for voting, alcohol, weapons, tobacco, marriage, consent etc. are more restrictive because there is already enforcement issues and individual certification would break the system.

If we want to just discuss this from the scientific perspective we may have to rely on studies that are preformed by sociologists and psychologist which judging from the arrangement of these forums are not science. If we restrict it to studies done by neurologists and biologists it is likely to not be very interesting.

My personal opinion is that defining what an adult brain is may itself lead to controversy. If you choose to ignore the probability that self domestication has produced a perpetually "immature" brain you are likely oversimplifying the situation before you start. Like all scientific discussions you have to rigorously define what you mean by adult.

I would prefer competency testing to age restrictions because I doubt we will ever agree on what adult means. That said let's just look at one example to see how impossible competency would be to implement. We have age restrictions on drinking because of the potential for damages to developing brains but we also have restrictions on immature "adults" who would otherwise drink and drive. The legal alcohol levels are arbitrary numbers. If tested we would find a range of competency for individuals at various levels of blood alcohol. We leave it up to law enforcement to determine the competency of drivers before demanding a blood alcohol test. That makes for an arbitrary reliance on the judgment of the officer but more importantly competence is not a legal defense because the courts rely on the arbitrary blood alcohol level and disregard competency. Is it fair that some people are more competent drivers than other people who are sober?

The danger of unintended consequences works both ways and fair often comes down to who's ox is being gored.
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby Natural ChemE on December 22nd, 2016, 6:49 pm 

Braininvat,

That's a neat study! Though I think that the idea about connecting legal/social adulthood (demarcation) to the brain's development might be a red herring.
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 23rd, 2016, 5:04 am 

Hi all,

My brother at 16, married his girlfriend who was 15. They had to go to Utah due to age restrictions elsewhere. Her parents were abusive and incompetent, making for a horrible home life that my brother wanted to rescue her from.

My cousin, under similar circumstances, got legal emancipation at 17. So the system does have some flexibility. But honestly, 14 year olds have been Adults since we (as a race) came down out of the trees. It's only been this last century or so, that we have applied age demarcations at different levels, mostly to make gray-scale legal issues into Black-White simplicity.

At least we were smart enough to put a Yellow light between the Green and Red that means "hurry up.. I'm changing".

Seriously.. we should each get a personal ID card with competency boxes on the back. You must pass a test to get that box checked off. That should satisfy the legal issues, keeping the court systems simple.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby wolfhnd on December 23rd, 2016, 5:10 am 

"The report, published on a blog for the the Institute for Family Studies, showed people who marry at 25 are more than 50 percent less likely to get a divorce than people who wed at age 20. And until age 32, each additional year of age at marriage reduces the odds of divorce by 11 percent. After age 32, the odds of divorce increase by 5 percent each year, according to Wolfinger."

http://www.deseretnews.com/article/8656 ... rates.html

We did not evolve to be happy it is an art form that must be learned and we should teach it.
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby Dave_Oblad on December 23rd, 2016, 5:19 am 

Hi Wolfhnd,

Statistics can mean anything you want. They are trying to draw an age correlation without taking into account an evolving society with conflicts of Modern Living with old Traditions. Kids are more likely to have a longer Marriage simply because they are more flexible and compatibility is the key issue leading to Divorce.. not age.

Rushing a marriage is bad, no one has had time to determine their compatibility with their spouse. At 30+ people start becoming rigid and it becomes difficult to find compatibility. This changes radially after 50+, we'll take anything that still moves.

Friendship is admiring someone's good points.. Love is accepting their faults.

Regards,
Dave :^)
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby vivian maxine on December 23rd, 2016, 7:47 am 

Dave_Oblad » December 22nd, 2016, 3:42 pm wrote:Hi Biv,

I prefer Puberty to be the Demarcation. I've known adults with no sense of responsibility and children with an abundance of such. If we think a 14 year old can't be a thriving adult, it's Societies and Educations fault.. not biology.

It's irrational that Linda Blair wasn't old enough to watch the movie she starred in.

Regards,
Dave :^)


"Adolescent adults" = still living their teens. Some never grow up.
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby wolfhnd on December 23rd, 2016, 5:10 pm 

As such, the prefrontal cortex is a little immature in teenagers as compared to adults; it may not fully develop until your mid-20s [source: Kotulak]. And if you don't have a remote control to call the shots in the brain, using the other brain structures can become more difficult. Imaging studies have shown that most of the mental energy that teenagers use in making decisions is located in the back of the brain, whereas adults do most of their processing in the frontal lobe


http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/i ... brain1.htm
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby Heavy_Water on May 4th, 2017, 6:54 pm 

Biologically I think the term Adult is a nebulous one. Open to subjective opinion. And to legal written laws of the land. Which again are subjective to their respective locales, as well as not very pertinent to real biology.

Thus, I prefer the term.....Fully matured human brain.

And to offer my answer as to when in life that organ can more often than not be expected to fully nature and cease development in an architecture sense..... neuroplasticity notwithstanding, I'd say the late twenties for makes, and maybe three to five years younger for females.

We know for certain, via numerous brain imagery tests and observations, that the frontal lobe, where decision making and reading skills reside, is still developing in the male of our species as he enters his second decade of life.

The reckless behavior and seeming propensity for irresponsible actions that often beset members of that particular demographic are evidence of this fact. Increased testosterone production plays, actually, a lesser role in this dynamic than was previously thought.

Women have this part of the brain develop a bit more quickly. And, Evolutionary Psychology explains, or at least offers very compelling reason as to why this is so. I will not go into an elaboration on that now, at the risk of going off topic, but will be happy to if anyone should be interested.

Cheers.
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Re: When is your brain an "adult" brain?

Postby Braininvat on May 4th, 2017, 7:03 pm 

Please deu (terium)! (I'd like to promise that's my only heavy water joke, but the love of vile puns borders on pathological)

An evolutionary psychology sidebar doesn't seem too terribly far offtopic. Does seem like the judgment and planning needed for a female looking at the rigors of childbearing might be a little more advanced.
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