Just interested in thoughts on the following...
I read an interesting article in National Geographic this month.. excerpt follows :
Now I find this quite interesting. I have not heard before of any proper scientific proof as to when we become adults. But this science suggests that intellectually we are adults at 25, even if physically we can reproduce maybe 10+ years younger.Different areas of the brain develop in differing rates into early adulthood. Certainly the pruning and shaping of Corina's brain during her early months as a learning machine were critical. But according to recent imaging studies of children...a second growth spurt in gray matter occurs just before puberty.
Assuming she was a typical girl, Corina's cortex was thickest at the age of 11 (boys peak a year and a half later). This wave of growth was following by anotyher thinning of gray matter that lasted throughout her teen years, and indeed has only recently been completed. This first areas of her brain to finish the process were those involved in basic functions, such as sensory processing and mnovement, in the extreme front of the brain. Next came regions governing spatial orientation and language in the parietal lobes on the sides of the brain.
The last area of the brain to reach maturity is the prefontal cortex where the so called executive brain resides - where we make social judgements, weigh alternatives, plan for the future and hold our behaviour in check.
"The executive brain doesnt hit adult levels until the age of 25" -Jay Giedd, National insitute of Mental Health". "At puberty you have adult passions, sex drive, energy and emotion but the reining in doesnt happen until much later"
It is no wonder perhaps that teenagers seem to lack good judgement of the ability to restrain impulses.
"We can vote at 18 and drive a car. But you can't rent a car until you are 25. In terms of brain anatomy, the only people who have it right are the car rental people!".
My own experiences certainly seem to fit a sudden development in the mid 20's that have left me complete, where I have remained since then. Before then I can remember times when i was overwhelmed by pubescence or excess. I always put it down to puberty, but never realised it might simply be that my brain had simply not finished growing.
From an evolutionary point of view 25 is quite late... in pre historic man/woman that is a late time to be good at judgement. Yet in today's world it makes sense.
So are we forcing adulthood on our children too early? Is the trend now for children to stay home in the mid 20's until they are 'with it' enough to leave merely a sign of the true reaching of adulthood now that some of the economic demands for them to depart are being removed?
What are your views if you are over/under this sort of age.. did you experience a change.. a growing up over and above pubescence some years later as I did (and this article suggests?). Did you put it down to experience rather than physical development?
If you are younger, are you still struggling with this?
PS if it is true, doesnt it make it a shame we put people through university before they are ready to make executive decisions about their future...