Ventral striatum activation to prosocial rewards predicts longitudinal declines in adolescent risk taking

Eva H. Telzer, Andrew J. Fuligni, Matthew D. Lieberman, Adriana Galván

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Adolescence is a period of intensified emotions and an increase in motivated behaviors and passions. Evidence from developmental neuroscience suggests that this heightened emotionality occurs, in part, due to a peak in functional reactivity to rewarding stimuli, which renders adolescents more oriented toward reward-seeking behaviors. Most prior work has focused on how reward sensitivity may create vulnerabilities, leading to increases in risk taking. Here, we test whether heightened reward sensitivity may potentially be an asset for adolescents when engaged in prosocial activities. Thirty-two adolescents were followed over a one-year period to examine whether ventral striatum activation to prosocial rewards predicts decreases in risk taking over a year. Results show that heightened ventral striatum activation to prosocial stimuli relates to longitudinal declines in risk taking. Therefore, the very same neural region that has conferred vulnerability for adolescent risk taking may also be protective against risk taking.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)45-52
Number of pages8
JournalDevelopmental Cognitive Neuroscience
Volume3
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Family
  • Reward
  • Risk taking
  • fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Ventral striatum activation to prosocial rewards predicts longitudinal declines in adolescent risk taking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this