Becoming a teenager means going through a variety of physical and behavioral changes in the context of heightened emotionality. For everyday social functioning, as well as for personal physical and mental well-being, it is important that teenagers are able to recognize, process and control these emotions. For young people who are diagnosed with conduct disorder, this process is difficult, and may lead to antisocial or aggressive reactions that clearly lie outside the age-appropriate norms, e.g. swearing, hitting, stealing and lying. An international team of researchers from Switzerland, Germany and England have been able to demonstrate using functional magnetic resonance imaging that these behavioral difficulties are reflected in the brain activity.
The study involved almost 60 female teenagers aged between 15 and 18 who were asked to try to actively regulate their emotions while the researchers measured their brain activity. Half of the group had previously been diagnosed with conduct disorder, while the other half showed typical social development for their age. In the girls with problematic social behavior, less activity was seen in the prefrontal and temporal cortex, where the brain regions responsible for cognitive control processes are located. In addition, these regions were less connected to other brain regions relevant for emotion processing and cognitive control.
Results - Explanation
"Our results offer the first neural explanation...
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