Adulthood: What the Brain Says About Maturity - By Laurence Steinberg | Learning, Brain & Cognitive Fitness |

If science influenced laws, teenagers wouldn't be allowed to drive before they could see R-rated movies on their own, or go to war before they can buy beer. "Neuroscientists now know that brain maturation continues far later into development than had been believed previously. Significant changes in brain anatomy and activity are still taking place during young adulthood, especially in prefrontal regions that are important for planning ahead, anticipating the future consequences of one’s decisions, controlling impulses, and comparing risk and reward. Indeed, some brain regions and systems do not reach full maturity until the early or mid-20s. Should this new knowledge prompt us to rethink where we draw legal boundaries between minors and adults? Alas, age boundaries are drawn for mainly political reasons, not scientific ones."