Teenage Brain Research

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In the article “Adolescent Angst: 5 Facts About the Teenage Brain” (2012), Robin Nixon states that during a person’s adolescent years they experience many different emotions and experiences that cause them to do certain actions. Nixon also states that brain research could also give reason as to why teens make may make certain bad or impulsive decisions. For example Nixon explains that teens face intense emotions because “the amygdala is thought to connect sensory information to emotional responses. Its development, along with hormonal changes, may give rise to newly intense experiences of rage, fear, aggression (including toward oneself), excitement and sexual attraction.” The actions of Romeo and Juliet correlate with modern brain research…show more content…
For example, after Romeo pleads Father Laurence to marry him and Juliet, he advises that “violent delights have violent ends,” (Shakespeare, II.vi.9). Romeo and Juliet’s decision is both impetuous and abrupt. They both act solely on impulse and emotion and have no thought about long term consequences, and are ready to get married just days after they meet. Both teens are willing to face all the consequences and believe that their love is more important than their family’s long and hateful feud. Moreover, the research of Adriana Galvan suggests that the prefrontal cortex is solely responsible for planning and complex behaviors, is not yet developed and causes adolescents to have faulty decision making. Romeo and Juliet’s decision relates to Galvan’s research because both teens make a decision without thinking about future events. They are not thinking of these events of their actions because their prefrontal cortex is not fully developed. This impulsivity creates many altercations that would lead to their untimely…show more content…
For example, when Juliet sees Romeo dead in the Capulet vault, she exclaims in gratitude, “O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die" (Shakespeare V.iii.174-175). Romeo and Juliet’s choice to take their own life is reckless and insensitive. Both teens are willing to put everything they have on the line for each other. Their impulsive decisions to act on their love when they know it is forbidden, get married without their parents consent, and take their own lives for the sake of their love further exemplifies the magnitude of how far these two lovers would go to be together. These decisions were all acted through impulse and were given no thought of how their actions could affect other people such as their families. These young lovers actions tie directly tie to the studies of Jon Horvitz, a neurobiologist in New York states that “This work suggests that the teenage brain is highly impulsive in the face of threat, and points unusual vmPFC activity as a possible biological underpinning.” With all the outside conflicts working against Romeo and Juliet their brains react to threats which directly leads them to kill
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