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Podcast: Dan Romer on the Teenage Brain and Risk-Taking

Dan Romer.
Dan Romer.

Annenberg Public Policy Center research director Dan Romer recently appeared on a podcast to discuss teen risk-taking behaviors and the underlying science. Smart Drug Smarts, a podcast focused on brain health and neuroscience, talked with Romer about making sense of adolescent behavior, the importance of taking risks, and his latest research.

The full podcast is available here from Smart Drug Smarts.

In the episode, titled “Wisdom and Risky Teens with Dr. Dan Romer,” Romer talked with host Jesse Lawler about risk-taking patterns in adolescents and how teens are not as afraid of unknown risks. Click to listen to a segment of the podcast below:


Romer and Lawler discussed which adolescents are more at risk than others, featured in the clip below:


Listen to the short clip below for Romer’s explanation of the difference between exploration and impulsivity:


Romer and Lawler also covered the physical and chemical changes that occur in the brain during adolescence, the importance of wisdom and learning from experience, and the roles that parents and schools play as teens grow and explore.

Their discussion is based on an article that Romer co-authored in Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience. To read about that article — “Beyond stereotypes of adolescent risk taking: Placing the adolescent brain in developmental context” — click here.