Neurologist Frances Jensen speaks to the audience about the teenage brain

Neurologist, Author Frances Jensen Shares Latest Research on the Teenage Brain

Dr. Frances Jensen, chair of the Department of Neurology at the University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine and author of the New York Times’ best-seller, The Teenage Brain, shared her research on the workings of the adolescent mind with more than 150 guests. “The teenage brain is like a Ferrari with weak brakes,” she explained, noting that while teens are wired to learn at high levels, their frontal lobe, controlling decision-making and impulses, is still not mature. “Sometimes, adults need to give teens a frontal lobe assist,” she said.

Dr. Jensen spoke about the physiology of the adolescent brain and explained how it is wired to have a heightened response to stress because of where it is in its development. Though the teenage brain is a “learning machine,” impairment to learning that may occur when a teen is feeling stress.

Additional topics of discussion included the teenage brain’s susceptibility to addiction, how experiences become memories and differences between girls and boys.

Following the presentation, Dr. Jensen visited with guests and signed copies of her book.

Her visit to MICDS was supported by the University of Pennsylvania’s St. Louis Alumni Chapter and MICDS parent Terese Portell.